THE Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) is working closely with several organisations and governments both regionally and internationally towards building their capacity to enhance performance and gain international recognition.
This was among several announcements made on Thursday at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre by CXC Registrar and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Wayne Wesley, as he fielded questions following the announcement of the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) and Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) results.
As part of the capacity-building efforts, greater emphasis is being placed on making more informed decisions as it relates to the curriculum. Dr. Wesley explained that the trajectory on policy decisions is being changed and a research and development department is being set up to harness available data that would set the course for whatever tweaks or changes are necessary to set students on course to align themselves with their career paths in existing and new sectors.
“In setting up this research and development department, we are actually constituting what we call a Research Advisory Committee which will be made up of individuals regionally as mentioned — University of Guyana, University of the West Indies — right across the region to help inform based on the research conducted, what we should be focusing on and that will help to drive areas of development,” he said.
Dr. Wesley added that data is being collected and analysed that will help advance the curriculum development of new subjects.
“From the data we are gleaning from how students are performing in certain areas and how that can influence what area we move into, to what universities are doing. Scholars in the area are actually unearthing in respect of new areas of development and training, so bio engineering is one; we are looking at artificial intelligence, robotics and all those areas we are developing right now to help advance curriculum development.
One of the things I mentioned is the issue of content; so apart from the newness of the syllabus, is, do we need such a long syllabus or should we shorten that content to create what I call the critical body of knowledge that students should master in order to perform in any area, so the research will be from what we do in CXC with our data.”
Meanwhile in response to a call by Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, for the establishment of a formal means to facilitate greater collaboration between ministries and education systems, Dr. Wesley noted that the inaugural CXC ministerial summit initiative will now become an annual event that will address assessment and education transformation.
In addition, he stated that efforts are being made to digitise the data of the Research and Development Department so that it can be easily accessible by ministries.
“We are currently working on creating a large data project at CXC where all our data will be digitised so that we can have access immediately to information that will help to drive policy decision-making. In fact, the team is currently working on assiduously creating online data portal that will link all ministries together to be able to have a common platform for discussion and decision-making going forward. So yes, the Ministerial Summit will be one forum or platform which we will galvanise consensus as well as our research platform to inform regional decision-making on education.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Wesley highlighted that the age-old issue experienced by many students that migrate to North America and European countries of not having their qualifications recognised and having to redo the course work is being addressed by CXC to bring international credence to their qualifications.
“We are working with several international organisations right now and universities across the world to ensure that our qualifications are still accepted and recognised and that is why sometimes it is very difficult to just change something because it has global implications. At no time we want to put our candidates at a disadvantage when they are assessed by international bodies.
So we are working with those, we are also working to align our qualifications with the international qualifications. So we have the regional qualifications and we are looking to make sure we are aligned with the European qualifications framework as well as what obtains in the US and other parts of the world. So we are partnering with those entities through those organisations to ensure that CXC remain relevant within the global space.”