Overall increases in numbers taking CXC
--Says GINA
Guyana Chronicle
September 15, 2003

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THE overall performances at the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) Examinations were good and substantial increases were recorded in English A and Mathematics.

The performances in other subjects such as Physics, Agriculture, Electronics, Mechanics and Music continued to show good results.

The numbers passing English A have increased from 1,856 in 1995 to 2,898 this year. As regards Mathematics, passes were 1,284 in 1995 and this year 1,856, although there was a greater increase over the period in persons passing with grade three in this subject.

This year showed the best performance ever, in Mathematics, with our lowest in 1997. The closest we have ever been to the 2003 scores was in 2000 when we recorded 40 per cent passes.

Over 80 per cent passes were achieved in Biology, over 90 per cent in Chemistry, Information Technology just below 80 per cent and approximately 90 per cent for Physics.

All Human Management subjects registered over 90 per cent passes and over 90 per cent in Industrial Arts except for technical Drawing.

The numbers writing Chemistry have increased over the past two years from 592 in 2001 to 657 this year.

In English A, the numbers have increased significantly. It moved from 4,999 in 1995 to 7749 this year and 5,561 in 2001.

There was a 2.9 per cent difference in the 2002 and 2003 English A scores with a 2,275 increase in the numbers taking the examination.

There is a steady increase in the results in English A from around 1998 to 2003. Passes moved from 11.64 per cent to 37.4 per cent this year.

Such significant increases were also evident in the numbers taking Mathematics in 1995 when 4,137 took the examination, compared to 7,450 this year.

Note however, that the pass mark is calculated up to grade Two from 1995 to 1997 and from Grade One to Three from 1998 to 2003.

The 1.7 per cent difference in passes between last year and this year must also be examined against the approximately 25,000 more persons that wrote the exams this year. This would also account for the increase in passes at all grades against the 2002 scores.

The 7,749 students who took English A and the 7,749 who took Mathematics were the largest numbers writing any of the subjects. There were also relative increases in the number taking Biology, Chemistry and Principles of Accounts.

In 1997, five persons wrote Information Technology while this year 680 wrote the examination with over half securing passes.

Compared to the number writing Principles of Accounts in 1995 (1,811) with a 31.42 per cent pass rate, the numbers have increased to 2,633 this year with a 61.8 per cent pass rate.

The percentage passes last year was just below the pass rate this year (61.8 per cent) compared to 61.2 per cent last year, but over 1,000 more persons wrote the examination this year.

This year recorded the largest number ever taking the examination. The same goes for French and Information Technology. The number of persons taking Spanish has also increased.

Since 1998, the number taking Craft and Art and Craft has decreased. Since 2000, persons stopped taking Shorthand, and we began taking Music in 2000 although the numbers are not large.

Although the local results are challenged by a number of persons, it is fitting that we examine our own results against earlier performances. With this as the basis for this analysis, the 2003 results show improvements in percentage passed and numbers taking the CXC examinations.

In the majority of subjects there is a marked increase in the numbers taking these exams especially over the last three years.

We continue to attain poor results in Mechanical Engineering Technology although the number taking the examination has grown from 1995 to 2003.

Small numbers continue to register for Art, Clothing and Textiles, French, Music, Typewriting, Woods, Building Technology and Mechanical Engineering. However, more students are taking Integrated Science (Single Award), Mathematics, Office Procedure, Principles of Accounts, Social Studies and English A. The largest number however, took social Studies.

The Ministry plans on making the relevant input to ensure that those subjects critical to national development are adequately addressed.

The records show also that large numbers of students continue to pass the CXC examinations, and this number has increased from 1995 to 2003.

This increase augurs well for the Education Sector, especially since budgetary allocations in Education continue to increase and is presently at its highest. Besides that, the Ministry with the help of a number of agencies is now able to significantly boost the Sector.

Some of these are the Basic Education Access Management Systems (BEAMS), the Secondary School Reform Project (SSRP), the Primary Education Improvement Programme (PEIP) and the Social Impact Amelioration Programme (SIMAP).

The Education Ministry credits the success of the Sector at the 2003 CXC examinations to revised curriculum and curriculum materials, more text books, upgrading of school laboratories, teachers' training and better school management.

Other significant levels of assistance came from parent/community support for schools, qualified VSO teaching assistance and regional evaluation of the pre-CXC examinations.

Efforts will be taken to ensure that In-service Centres will be expanded to include Secondary components and continuous monitoring and support for Regions with low results.

Suffice it to say, strident efforts have been made to also adequately equip the teaching component in Interior locations.

Although the numbers of qualified teachers are small in those areas, they have been supported by VSOs and training so that students have better access to quality education.

From the year 1997 to 2002, more than 1,750 teachers were trained, while approximately 500 received pre-service and in-service training.

A strategic Plan (2002 - 2006) and a 17- point plan were also outlined to upgrade all levels of education and education delivery countrywide. (GOVERNMENT INFORMATION AGENCY)