CXC Holds 49th Meeting, Awards Top Achievers

Image: Regional Top Awardees and CXC delegation with Nevis His Excellency Sir Tapley Seaton, Governor General of St Kitts and Nevis.

PRESS RELEASE – THE Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) held its 49th meeting at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort, St. Kitts and Nevis on Friday, December 15 and the meeting of the School Examinations Committee (SEC) on Thursday, December 14.

The SEC and Council meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Chairman of CXC and Vice Chancellor of The University of the West Indies.

Image: Regional Top Awardees and CXC delegation with Nevis His Excellency Sir Tapley Seaton, Governor General of St Kitts and Nevis.
Regional Top Awardees and CXC delegation with Nevis His Excellency Sir Tapley Seaton, Governor General of St Kitts and Nevis.

Opening of Council and Presentation of Top Awards
The opening ceremony for Council and presentation of awards for outstanding performances in the May/June 2017 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE), the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC), and the Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC) examinations was hosted at the St. Kitts Marriott Hotel on Thursday, December 14 at 7:00 p.m.

Shawn Richards, Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture in St. Kitts and Nevis, delivered the feature address at the ceremony. Richards said St. Kitts and Nevis’s hosting of the CXC governance meetings was an indication of the country’s commitment to the region generally and to CXC, in particular.

Professor Beckles gave remarks at the ceremony, urging the awardees to become advocates of causes and stand up and speak up for something.

Sir Hilary noted that the CSEC awardees are provided with a full scholarship by The University of the West Indies once they complete their CAPE or an associated degree. Sir Hilary explained that the scholarship is meant to attract the region’s brightest and best minds to the region’s top university.

Regional Top Awards
During the ceremony held on the night of Thursday, December 14, students from six Caribbean countries – Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago – received awards for outstanding performances in the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE), Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and the Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC).

Tareque Raeburn of Presentation Boys’ College, Grenada received the first award for the Most Outstanding Male Student in CCSLC, while KedeemaBlanchette of Basseterre High School in St. Kitts and Nevis received the award for Most Outstanding Female Student in CCSLC.

Raeburn achieved Master in CCSLC English and Mathematics and Grade I in CSEC Information Technology, Physical Education and Sport and Grade II in Industrial Technology (Electronical). Blanchette achieved Master in CCSLC English, French and Mathematics and Grade I in CSEC Theatre Arts and Physical Education and Sport.

Joel Kissoon of Presentation College, San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago, received the Dennis Irvine Award. He is the third student from Presentation College, San Fernando to receive the award. Kissoon achieved Grade I in fourteen Units and Grade II in two Units.

Chela Aufderheide of Naparima Girls’ High School, Trinidad and Tobago received the Language Studies award with Grade I in twelve Units.

Students from Guyana received three awards. Shawn Shewram of St. Rose’s High School was presented with the first ACCA/CXC Business Studies Award by Paula Marcelle-Irish, Head of Business Development at ACCA Caribbean.

Shannon Woodroffe of Queen’s College, a former CSEC awardee, received the first RM Results-sponsored CAPE Mathematics Award. Woodroffe also received the award for Natural Science. She achieved Grade I in thirteen Units, all with “A” in the Module grades.

Jared Johnson of Campion College, Jamaica received the Hodder Education CAPE Humanities Award. He achieved Grade I in nine Units and Grade II in one Unit.

CSEC Awardees
Michael Bhopaul, a student of Queen’s College, Guyana received the most awards on the night. Bhopaul received the awards for the Most Outstanding Candidate Overall, Most Outstanding Canadidate in Sciences, Most Outstanding Canadidate in Business Studies and Most Outstanding Candidate in Technical Vocational Education.

Another student from Queen’s College, Rawletta Barrow, received the award for Most Outstanding Candidate in Humanities. Barrow also achieved Grade I in nineteen subjects.

Aasim Baksh of St. Stanislaus College, Guyana, was presented with the award for the Best Short Story. Baksh’s story was entitled “The Tremor”.

The award for Best 3-Dimensional Visual Art pieces went to Nerissa Niles of Grantley Adams Memorial School, Barbados, while Kerron John of San Juan South Secondary School, Trinidad and Tobago, received prize for the Best 2-Dimensional Visual Art work.

Courtesy Calls
The awardees and a delegation from CXC and the Ministry of Education paid courtesy calls on His Excellency Sir Taplet Seaton, Governor General of St. Kitts and Nevis; Shawn Richards, Minister of Education, Youth, Sport and Culture; and Leader of Opposition, the Right Honourable Dr.Denzil Douglas.

The awardees visited the sister isle of Nevis and toured St. Kitts, including visiting the historic Brimstone Hill Fortress.

The awardees were encouraged by all dignitaries to continue to excel in their fields of endeavours. They were also advised to view their accomplishments not as the end of the road, but as the beginning of a journey that has started.

Registrar’s Report
Council received the 2017 Registrar’s Report presented by Glenroy Cumberbatch, CXC Registrar. Cumberbatch highlighted the Council’s accomplishments in 2017. These included increased candidates by over 2000; addition of one CAPE subject; Design and Technology; groundwork for expansion into the non-English-speaking Caribbean territories; increased marketing of CCSLC, CVQ and CSEC; completion of service charter; and achievement of 97 per cent reliability.

The Registrar also reported that all subjects will be made available via electronic testing in 2018 for territories that are interested in offering it to their candidates. He also noted that all subjects will be marked electronically by 2019.

Payment Structure For Electronic Markers
SEC discussed the revised payment structure for e-markers. The meeting heard that CXC recruited a consultant to review the payment structure for e-marking and a revised payment structure was recommended and approved. The revised structure will result in a $455,000 increase in CXC marking budget.

CAPE History Taskforce
Chairman of the History Taskforce, Professor Alan Cobley, presented the report to SEC. He noted that both the enrollment and performance in History have declined over the years.

So far, the taskforce has conducted two surveys and gathered significant entry and performance data on CSEC and CAPE History.

SEC received an update on the development of the CXC Learning Hub and noted that a number of Digital Toolkits have been developed for CCSLC, CSEC, CVQ and CAPE. It was reported that more toolkits would be developed in 2017 and will be housed in NotesMaster platform. SEC also noted that CPEA resources in the form of e-books had been published and that the books were written by pupils who had entered a story competition mounted by CXC in 2014. Members were informed that another competition would be launched in 2017 and CXC would also invite short stories from professional authors.

Syllabus Development
SEC received the summary of major decisions from the meetings of SUBSEC held during 2017. Members were presented with the major decisions taken at those meetings including:
• Approval of the revisions to six CAPE syllabuses: History and Literature in English to be distributed in 2017 and for first examination in 2018; Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Law to be distributed in 2018 and first examination in 2019
• Approval of revisions to five CSEC syllabuses: Music to be distributed in 2018 and for examination in 2020. Theatre Arts to be distributed in 2018 and examination in 2020.Economics, Principles of Accounts and Principles of Business to be distributed in 2017 and for examinations in 2019.

SEC also heard that at the request of stakeholders, SUBSEC agreed to defer the use of CAD software for Technical Drawing to 2018 in an effort to allow schools to effect the necessary upgrades to their technology and for training in the use of the software to take place.

SEC also ratified SUBSEC’s decision for the establishment of a CXC Learning Institute pending the research and groundwork required.

Examinations Administration
CXC administered examinations for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC), Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE), Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA), Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ).

Subject entries for CAPE declined over that of 2016. This year, 117,963 Unit entries were submitted, compared with 121,906 entries in 2016.

For CSEC, there was also a decline in subject entries in 2017. Subject entries stood at 577,982 in 2017 compared with 585,313 entries last year.

In the Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC), English was the largest subject with 4,395 entries, followed by Mathematics with 4,364, Social Studies with 2,616, Integrated Science with 2,450, French with 241 and Spanish with 214 entries.

There was significant growth in the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) this year. Trinidad and Tobago continues to be the largest subscriber to CVQ with 2,910 entries, followed by Barbados with 1,338, Jamaica with 923, Turks and Caicos with 17 and Dominica with 11 entries.

For the Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA), Grenada submitted 1913 candidates, St. Vincent and the Grenadines submitted 1637, Anguilla submitted 196 and Montserrat submitted 60 candidates.

There was a general decline in candidate entries for most examinations offered in 2017. Entries for CAPE declined from 30,859 last year to 29,916 in 2017. For CSEC, candidate entries dropped to 129,558 this year compared with 132,674 last year. Subject increased for CCSLC was from 6,478 candidates in 2016, to 7,159 candidates this year.

The Council approved the budget for 2018 which provides for projected revenue of 47,915,000 Barbados dollars and total expenditure of 46,086,000 Barbados dollars. The budget provides for financing activities related to CXC’s strategic priorities for 2018. The revenue in excess of expenditure before capital items was 1,829,000 Barbados dollars.

Council recorded its sincerest appreciation to the Government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, in particular, for hosting the meetings and their warm hospitality shown to delegates while in St. Kitts and Nevis.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines has offered to host the 2018 CXC governance meetings.

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