The Caribbean Secondary Examinations Council needs to undergo a systematic review of its syllabi to ensure students receive adequate preparation.
Acting Principal of the Ellerslie Secondary School, Ronald Leacock, made this assertion during the Black Rock, St. Michael school’s speech day and prize giving ceremony this morning.
“Although intended to be a five-year activity, it may be delayed for much longer. But whenever it is done, it brings with it much uncertainty and often a process of refamiliarisation follows,” he said.
“Undoubtedly, the fall-out from this process is a dip in the prior performance of students in those students for which the syllabuses have undergone review.”
Brathwaite explained that this resulted in pressure to complete the syllabi, with some teachers having to spend Easter and Christmas breaks preparing their students for examinations, now held between early April to June.
Additionally, it also meant that pupils had less than two years to ready themselves for CSEC, formerly known as CXCs.
“In fact, there are subjects being done in this school, in two years at five lessons per week, where the CXC recommends twice as much time to adequately complete the syllabuses for their examinations. The bottom line therefore is that our children are being asked to get ready for examinations in a new subject in five school terms,” Leacock said, adding the preparation time was further shortened by other activities which subtract from classroom time.
The principal also noted the institution should chart a new course, touching “all sectors of the school’s operation.”
“In the end, the portrait of this school must be significantly different from what now exists… This is not a one-year, one-off activity: it must be deep and ongoing.” (LW)