Guyana lags behind Caribbean in CSEC results
-Maths passes Grades 1-3: Guyana 24.8%, Barbados 53.3%, Trinidad and Tobago 50.3%, Jamaica 33%
September 7, 2003
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Guyana’s results in the core subjects at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations, despite some improvements in the last few years, remain significantly below those of Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica.
However, Minister of Education, Dr Henry Jeffrey feels that much of the talk about reaching Caribbean standards is without “great merit” because of the level of resources spent on each child in Guyana compared to other countries in the region.
Of the 7,749 local candidates who wrote English A only 2,898 or 37.4% obtained Grade 1 to Grade 3 passes.
Barbados on the other hand entered a total of 3,803 candidates for English A and obtained 68.3% or 2,598 passes in Grades One to Three; Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) entered 24,860 candidates for the same subject and obtained 55.3% or 13,746 passes for the same grades; Jamaica entered 32,725 candidates for the same subject and obtained 42.7% representing 14,184.
In 1998 a total of 5,306 candidates wrote English A in Guyana, but only 1,181 or 22.3% got grades One to Three. The following year the number of candidates increased to 5,478, and 25.9% or 1,417 were successful. In 2000, of the 5,546 candidates, 1,435 or 25.8%, a slight drop, gained grades One to Three. In 2001 the number of candidates increased to 5,561 and 2,006 or 36.1% passed grades One to Three, a marked improvement compared to the previous year. Last year, the number of candidates contracted to 5,474 and passes dropped to 34.5% or 1,890. This year there was once again a slight improvement. Of the 7,749 local candidates who wrote English A, 2,898 or 37.4% obtained Grade 1 to Grade 3 passes.
Three out of four fail to obtain One-Three in Maths
In Mathematics, 1,856 or 24.8% secured Grade One to Grade Three passes. A total of 7,450 candidates wrote the subject; Barbados secured 52.3% or 1,745 passes from a total of 3,276 candidates; T&T obtained 50.3% or 12,710 from a total of 25,274; while Jamaica secured 33% or 10,531 from a total of 31,965 candidates.
Like English A, performance in Mathematics has fluctuated. In 1998, of the 4,641 local candidates who wrote the subject 829 or 17.9% obtained grades One to Three. The following year, 4,827 wrote the subject and 887 or 18.5% secured passes in the same grades. In 2000, a total of 4,838 or 24.5% secured grades One to Three, a marked improvement on the previous year. In 2001, the number of candidates rose to 5,020 but the percentage of those passing with grades One to Three dropped significantly to 19.6% or 982. Last year, the number of candidates dropped to 4,980 and those obtaining grades One to Three were 1,148 or 23.1%. This year 24.8% or 1,856 of the 7,450 obtained Grades One to Three. It was the best performance of the past five years.
In Integrated Science Guyana secured 70.6% or 1,837 passes in Grades One to Three from a total of 2,603; T&T got 81.6% or 3,483 from a total of 4,269; Barbados secured 78.8% or 304 from a total of 386; and Jamaica secured 64.2% or 2,699 from a total of 4,090.
In Social Studies from a total of 4,864 local candidates, 72% or 3,511 obtained grades One to Three passes; Barbados secured 87.6% or 864 from a total of 986; T&T secured 80.8% or 7,488 from a total of 9,276; and Jamaica 80.1% or 10,178 from a total of 12,705.
In Guyana 357 candidates wrote Spanish with 56.3% or 201 receiving grades One to Three passes; in T&T, 66% or 2,891 secured the same grades from a total of 4,376; in Barbados, 69.6% or 545 from a total of 783; and in Jamaica, 69% or 1,953 of the 2,832 were successful.
In Antigua and Barbuda, of the 887 candidates who wrote English A, 533 or 60.1% obtained Grade One to Three passes; in Mathematics, 279 or 36.9% obtained grades One to Three passes; in Integrated Science, 291 or 88.7% obtained One to Three; in Social Studies, of the 375 candidates, 346 or 97.2% got grades One to Three; and in Spanish, of the 108 candidates, 77 or 71.3% obtained grades One to Three.
In Dominica of the 1,089 candidates who wrote English A, 733 or 67.2% obtained grades One to Three passes; in Mathematics, 371 or 46.8% obtained grades One to Three; in Integrated Science, 659 or 91.2% obtained grades One to Three; and in Spanish, of the 95 candidates, 82 candidates or 86.2% obtained Grades One to Three passes.
And in St Lucia, of the 2,286 candidates who wrote English A, 1,367 or 58.4% obtained grades One to Three; in Mathematics of the 2,147 candidates, 889 or 41.4% obtained grades One to Three; in Social Studies, 889 or 41.4% obtained grades One to Three passes; and in Spanish, of the 299 candidates, 227 or 57.5% candidates obtained grades One to Three passes.
While the Education Minister has argued that resource availability is responsible for Guyana’s poor performance among its Caribbean neighbours, he adds that Guyana spends some 8.3% of GDP on the sector, the most spent by any Caribbean country.
It was observed by the media at a press conference Dr Jeffrey hosted on Thursday, that many of the funds from the national budget in recent years were being spent on infrastructure works and institutional strengthening, including teachers’ training which had resulted in limited improvements in English A and Mathematics. It was also noted that in spite of the funding to the sector, about 250 teachers in the senior and management levels leave the local education system annually because of poor salaries.
Jeffrey acknowledged that teachers would continue to seek employment where the salaries were better. (Miranda La Rose)