Guyana has seen improvements in a number of subject areas at both the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency and Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate examinations for this year.
During a ceremony hosted this morning at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre to launch the CXC 2021 results, Director of Operations at CXC, Dr. Nicole Manning said that at both the CAPE and CSEC levels, the performance of Guyanese students improved and Guyana also outperformed the rest of the Caribbean in a number of subjects.
This year, CXC saw an increase in the number of students who did not turn up to write the examinations.
There was also an increase in the number of the students who have requested to write the exams at a later date.
Over 15,000 deferral requests were received for various subjects by students across the region.
Dr. Manning explained during her presentation that the COVID-19 pandemic also had an impact on regional exams.
“The pandemic is still with us, so we had to grapple with that. But I must say that we rose to the challenge and we were able to facilitate all the candidates, whether they were stranded in a particular country outside of their territory or the region itself, or they were not able to sit or they were able to sit with St. Vincent and the Grenadines”.
Students in St. Vincent were allowed to sit their examinations at a later date because of the volcanic eruptions there. The exams written by the St. Vincent students were different from the ones offered to the rest of the region.
The Registrar and CEO of the Caribbean Examinations Council, Dr. Wayne Wesley also spoke about the impact that the pandemic and other factors continue to have on the exams and the region.
He said CXC understands its functions well and although it might be faced with challenges, it has been working to overcome those challenges while looking out for the best interest of the students who have to write the various examinations administered by the regional body.
“I want to assure you that we understood the impact that COVID-19 would have on performance and therefore our deliberations during the marking and grading processes gave full consideration that candidates were not disadvantaged while ensuring the integrity of the examination process”, Dr. Wesley said.
The CXC Registrar went on to state that there is now a need more than ever for the region to reexamine the curriculum for secondary schools.
“I don’t know why we can’t have a curriculum that allows students to complete what they need to know in the four years that the Ministry of Education would have established for students to learn. We have an attitude now for a lot of extra lessons, pressuring the students, giving them a lot of information overload and when they are stressed out, we want to know what is happening. We need to find an approach that creates an appropriate balance that allows students to demonstrate the critical competencies required to function in society and have that ability to apply to any content, rather than focusing on the syllabus coverage. What this pandemic has shown us is that you will at times not have the time to cover the entire content”.
Guyana’s Minister of Education Priya Manickchand reflected on the issues that arose last year when the results were released and students across the region objected to their grades.
The objections forced CXC to review all of the grades. The Education Minister said she hopes moving forward, a situation like that never resurfaces.
Minister Manickchand said the COVID-19 pandemic has created many lessons for the education sector and learning and teaching. She said it is clearer now that there is a need for countries across the region to work closer as a unit.
“As we revamp, retool, and recover sustainably from our recent and ongoing challenges, we must do so armed and assured of the support of our sister territories”, Manickchand said.
Next month, CXC will host a special conference for Education Ministers and other senior officials from across the region to look at ways of improving and supporting the work of the examinations body.
While today was the official day for the release of the results, students will be able to access their individual results from Friday via the online portal.