Considerable improvement in advanced level results -Caesar

Stabroek News
August 20, 2001

There has been considerable improvement in the performance of students writing the General Certificate of Education (GCE) Advanced Level (A-Level) examination in Guyana.

Speaking on Saturday at a press briefing at the National Centre for Education Resource Development (NCERD), Chief Education Officer, Ed Caesar stated, "In [the] light of the number of passes and the grades achieved at this year's sitting, our country has made significant improvement."

Caesar said that compared to last year, results attained at the May/June A-Levels and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) have been notably enhanced with 161 candidates for the GCE while 132 wrote the Advanced Subsidiary - the first phase of a new GCE A-Level format. Some results for the Mackenzie High School and President's College are still to be received.

According to Caesar, the schools represented at this year's examinations included Bishop's High, Mackenzie High, New Amsterdam Multi-lateral, President's College, Queen's College, St Rose's High and St Stanislaus College - for which results indicated that nine candidates were successful in four subjects, 35 in three subjects, 56 in two subjects and 32 passed one subject taking the total percentage pass rate to 68.84%. The overall pass rate for the previous year was not given.

The CEO had words of praise for all those who excelled and was especially congratulatory of the country's top scorer, Amlata Persaud - who gained four grade A passes in Economics, English Literature, French and Law - and applauded her consistency.

He maintained that the ministry "...will continue to make resources available and to support the education system in the country.," and reminded that these examinations not only prepared the student for a career but assisted them to function in society from an informed level.

In Mathematics there was an improvement in the pass rate from 49.36% to 67.53% over 2000 to 2001 and for English Literature the pass rate moved upwards from 65.38% to 91.66%. The rates for Accounting and Economics improved from 64.44% and 37.78% to 85.71% and 73.33% respectively.

Geography was singled out as the weakest subject area for the country and this the CEO said was due mainly to a severe shortage of teachers and professionals in the said subject area. The ministry is hoping to get some teachers to pursue a graduate programme in Geography at the University of Guyana so that the performance of the country's students in this subject can improve. Other subjects being written include Accoun-tancy, Economics, English Literature, Law, French, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Pure Mathematics, Further Mathematics and Mechanics.

Meanwhile, from May/ June 2000 the old Advanced Level format i.e. a single subject, one-shot examination after two years will no longer be available.

This is because in September 2000, a new scheme was introduced by the GCE Board. Under this scheme, an Advanced Level subject is split into six units, three of which would be written in the first year after O'levels while the remaining three would be taken in the Upper Sixth year.

The first three units are regarded as the Advanced Subsidiary Level and the second three are known as the A2 level. Advanced Level certification is conferred upon successful completion of all six units over the two-year period.

In the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) 325 candidates wrote 21 subjects. The total number of subject entries received was 745. There is a seven-point scale with Grades 1 to 5 considered as pass grades. According to Caesar, the overall results show there were eight grade ones (1.25%), sixteen grade twos (2.51%), seventy-nine grade threes (12.44%), 185 grade fours (29.13%) and 164 grade fives (25.82%). The overall pass rate was 71.15%. In mathematics, the pass rate was less than 20%.

Kelly Toppin of St Stanislaus College secured grade ones in Mathematics Unit 1, Mathematics Unit 11 and Statistical Analysis 11 while Jeetanakab Indar of Queen's College gained a Grade 1 in Mathematics 1 and a Grade 11 in Statistical Analysis 11.