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JIS News

Chair of the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC), Professor Kenneth Hall, has sought to allay fears and concerns raised about the new CXC Associate Degree Programme, which was introduced to the region’s education system in 2004.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 36th Meeting of the CXC Council, at the Hilton Hotel in Kingston on December 1, Professor Hall said that the associate degree offered by the CXC, like its Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) and CSEC examinations, was of a high standard and graduates of the programme would be as competitive as their counterparts from other institutions, regionally and internationally.
“When we embarked on this programme, we did so with clear objectives in mind .and we are determined to maintain the very high standards we have achieved,” he emphasised.
“We are determined to ensure that all our qualifications are transferable; that they provide opportunities and avenues for graduates of this region and that we will fulfil our mandate to providing, enhancing and developing the whole human resource and social capital in this region,” he added.
The Chairman also sought to put to rest the issue of the legitimacy of the programme, explaining that the CXC was working within the realm of the legal framework of the education sectors in all 16 Caribbean participating territories. “The first question that has been raised was about legitimacy.is CXC legally allowed to provide an associate degree, and the answer is yes,” he noted.
“There is no question about it. It is in the Charter [as] we checked all the legal authorities,” he added.The CXC Associate Degree programme is optional, and is only open to students who are registered for the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) as both programmes are done simultaneously.
“The associate degree is not an alternative to CAPE; rather it is in addition to CAPE . [it] is a clear option and those who have met the qualification will receive the degree,” he pointed out.
Students may specialize in nine areas, including Technical Studies, Business Studies, Computer Science, Mathematics, Environmental Science, and Modern Languages.
“The associate degree is not simply a selection of random subjects. Rather, it will be seven units clustered around a discipline and around a particular approach. there are some basic requirements…and it is only after a student has acquired all of those units at the appropriate level, will the associate degree be awarded,” he explained.
In the meanwhile, Professor Hall revealed that the Council has taken the decision to discontinue the CXC Basic Proficiency Examination with the exception of English Language, Mathematics and Social Studies.
“Over time we found that the students, the parents [and] the employers regarded it as an inferior qualification and therefore the numbers have fallen significantly (except for the three subjects), because more and more students were sitting the general and technical proficiencies,” he told JIS News.
Representatives from the 16 participating territories within the region attended this year’s meeting, namely: Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Guyana, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.