Improvement in Standard of Certification Achieved by Students


Education Minister, Hon. Andrew Holness, is reporting a significant improvement in the standard of certification being attained by students sitting the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC)/Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations, each year.
Addressing the monthly meeting of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, at the Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston, on September 24, the Minister said the number of students sitting the examinations is increasing by approximately 1,000 each year.
“In 2008, we had 31,600 students, and in 2010, there were 33,800 students sitting the CXC examinations. For the Ministry of Education, the benchmark school leaving exam is the CXC, and we intend to have all students in high schools sit CXC. That’s the policy directive of the Ministry of Education,” he said.
The Minister was particularly heartened by the decline in the number of students attaining only two subjects. He informed that of the 33,800 entrants for the 2009/10 external examinations, 14,000 attained two or less, down from 15,000 in 2008. Those getting no subjects fell from 6,000 in 2008, to 4,820 this year.
The number of students who attained three or more subjects increased from 16,000 in 2008 to 19,500 this year. He added that the number of students who could possibly matriculate into the tertiary system, with the minimum requirement of four subjects, inclusive of Mathematics and/or English, rose from 11,300 in 2008 to 14,600 this year.
“This could possibly take them into a community college to do a diploma. So, there are more students who could potentially qualify for tertiary level,” the Minister pointed out.
Regarding students attaining the minimum entry requirement of five or more subjects, inclusive of Mathematics and/or English, to enter university, Mr. Holness informed that this figure moved from 9,592 in 2008, to 12,421 this year.
Mr. Holness said that there are some students who have left high school, who may not currently be at the minimum certification standard, “but we are preparing for five years’ time, when all students in high school will sit the CXC examination.”
“Which is why we have had to revise our subsidy policy for CXC, to make sure that students understand the importance of working towards CXC, not just the month before CXC, but that they start working in Grade 10 to take their CXC examinations,” Mr. Holness said.

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