-performances in Maths, English remain weak
GUYANA recorded a marginal increase at this year’s Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations, gaining a grade 1-3 pass rate of 63.8 percent as compared to that of 2016, which was 63.39 percent. However, there were appreciable increases in a number of subject areas although mathematics remains dormant and English Language fell.
Though not pleased with this year’s results, Minister of Education, Nicolette Henry, pointed out that the pass rate has consistently increased over the past five years, moving from 60 percent in 2014 to 62.72 percent in 2015 and so on.
During the announcement of the results on Tuesday, Minister Henry said that 12,684 students registered for this year’s examinations and out of the pass rate, 12.49 percent attained Grade One, 22.72 percent Grade Two and 28.47 percent Grade three.
Some of the key subject areas did not see improvement however, there was a hundred percent pass rate for Music and Theatre Arts. Those were supported by outstanding performances in 10 subjects, where over 90 percent of students gained Grades 1–3.
Those subjects were Physical Education & Sports with 99.01 percent; Agricultural Science (DA) with 98.57 percent; Electronic Doc. Preparation & Management with 97.25 percent; Religious Education with 96.75 percent; Food Nutrition & Health with 91.16 percent; Industrial Technology – Building with 94.75 percent; Information Technology with 92.62 percent; and Agricultural Science (SA) with 92.31 percent.
There were also improvements in the Grades 1 to 3 passes in Chemistry, moving from 41.13 percent in 2016 to 47.81 percent in 2017. Improvements were also recorded in 13 other subjects including: Electronic Documentation Preparation and Management, Economics, Office Administration, Principles of Accounts, Principles of Business, Religious Education, Caribbean History, Textile Clothing and Fashion, Family and Resource Management, Food Nutrition & Health, Industrial Technology Building, Industrial Technology Electrical and Industrial Technology Mechanical.
Other subjects which were not considered as improved but more as consistent included Agricultural Science (SA) with a pass rate of 92.31 percent in 2017, compared to 92.61 percent in 2016; French with a pass rate of 80 percent in 2017, compared to 79.86 percent in 2016.
Mathematics also remained dormant, with a pass rate of 39.23 percent in 2017, compared to 38.37 percent in 2016. Portuguese, which was the new subject to be offered this year, saw 83.04 percent of the entries achieving acceptable grades.
Though there was much to celebrate, the Minister said that eleven subject areas did not measure up to last year’s. Among those were English Language and Literature.
The performance in English Language fell from 59.3 percent in 2016 to 57.99 this year, while English Literature fell tremendously from 52.94 percent to 44.45 percent in 2017.
Other subjects that received decreased performances include Biology from 76.38 to 61.98 percent; Geography from 61.9 to 56.73 percent; Integrated Science from 64.89 to 59.21 percent; Physics from 55.83 to 52.92 percent; Social Studies from 56.87 to 54.57 percent; Spanish from 66.33 to 58.08 percent; Visual Arts from 55.55 to 44.45 percent; Human and Social Biology from 58.42 to 55.35 percent and Additional Mathematics 70.26 to 68.61 percent.
“These performances indicate that appropriate measures have to be taken to ensure improved performance in all subject areas next year,” said the Minister, who stressed her disappointment in the overall performance.
A number of systems had been put in place within the education sector to ensure improved performances over the years, however, it was indicated that the ministry will go back to the drawing board and look at new methods to boost the performance of the students. Although they have not started the process, the Minister noted that they will be looking to mirror the initiatives to those that were employed during the preparations for the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) Examinations.
“We might look at tactics such as, preparing an action plan to deal with the weak areas…a lot more work needs to be done and we will start by doing an appraisal of the teachers in order to know how capable and ready they are to deal with the weak subject areas,” said Chief Education Officer, Marcel Hutson. This, he said, is part of their intent to pay keen attention to those who need extra support. During the process, “top teachers” will also be shuffled in order to boost the capacity of other schools.
Despite the results, the official maintained that “not one dollar” of the ministry is lost because they are always seeking to ensure that they find better use for their money. Hutson said that the ministry is optimistic about getting the pass rate over 60 percent.