JIS News

The Overseas Examination Commission (OEC) has successfully overseen the implementation of electronic registration of all secondary level candidates in all schools in Jamaica using software developed by the examining bodies. This has, for the first time in 2008, included the electronic capture of coursework grades.
This is contained in a Ministry Paper tabled in the House of Representatives last week by Education Minister, Andrew Holness.
The Commission has overall responsibility for administering the Overseas Examinations taken by candidates in the Jamaica secondary education system and continues to successfully administer all external examinations including the secondary exit examinations and professional examinations.
In an effort to ensure the preservation and archiving of examination and operational records, the Commission has embarked on the implementation of a comprehensive records management system.
Moreover, the Commission has been able to increase registration in several professional examinations including the Association of Business Executives. The newest qualification offered jointly by the Government of Jamaica and the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), the Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC), has been successfully administered since its pilot in 2007.
With the construction of 18,000 square feet of modern office space at 2a Piccadilly Road, the new office of the Commission were opened in October 2007, and is now considered a milestone achievement.
Additionally, the Commission is in the process of acquiring lands in Montego Bay to construct a modern office complex to serve the needs of Western Jamaica. Furthermore, the Commission continues to enjoy a healthy surplus through prudent fiscal management.
The phasing out of the General Certificate of Education (GCE) examinations has affected the operations of the office. In as much as there is no real decline in the number of candidates sitting, it has become more costly to run the examinations.
This is so because CXC is a far more labour intensive and paper-driven examination, bearing in mind that all Caribbean Advance Proficiency Exam (CAPE) subjects carry a coursework component and nearly all Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) subjects carry School Based Assessment (SBA).
As a consequence of the high cost to administer the CXC, the organization will have to set its administrative fees at a level that will enable it to cover its operational expenses.
The OEC aspires to provide modern facilities equipped with state-of-the-art technology to facilitate an upgraded and improved administration of examinations and the offering of other services. In addition, it seeks to ensure that all the assets and properties of the Overseas Examinations Office are vested in the OEC, while decentralizing services in an effort to provide greater accessibility to rural customers and increase client base.
In an effort to expand core business to address broader educational services, the OEC is developing and strengthening linkages and partnerships with identified stakeholders locally and overseas.
Moreover, the OEC plans to develop/employ staff with competencies and attitudes reflecting a culture of excellence in customer satisfaction and with a results-oriented approach to work.
The OEC was established by an Act of Parliament in 2005. Prior to that, the OEC was governed by the Overseas Examinations Committee, which was established in 1969 by the Ministry of Education, and charged with the overall responsibility for administering the overseas examinations taken by candidates in the Jamaica secondary education system.
The Commission comprises 16 members representing all types of tertiary and secondary institutions as well as other agencies in the public and private sectors, which have a vital interest in the product of the secondary school system.

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