Education officials here are yet to determine the number of Barbadian students who failed to pass a single subject in this year’s Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination set by the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC).
Some 11,000 students from across the Caribbean had failed every subject, CXC Registrar Glenroy Cumberbatch said at a function in Grenada two weeks ago during the release of the results from the May/June examination.
“This year we had over 60,000 candidates doing five or more CSEC subjects and 59 per cent of them gaining acceptable grades,” Cumberbatch said then, while noting that just 20 per cent of the Caribbean CXC-age population get to write the CSEC exam, and of this cohort some 13 per cent fail every subject.
Local CXC Registrar in the Ministry of Education Dr Roderick Rudder told Barbados TODAY he was unable to say how many of the 11,000 students were Barbadian.
“We have not gone into details in terms of looking at the national performance as yet because we were really and truly caught between facilitating our students who are applying for sixth form and we were at the tail end of dealing with the scholars and exhibitioners. So, we have not fully analyzed our statistics as yet, we are in the process of doing that,” Rudder said, adding that the ministry was in the process of doing some other “very critical things” at this point.
He explained that normally the ministry would have been able to provide the updated statistics on the CSEC results, but this year had been a challenge due to clashes with other key events.
“We are in the process of now going through the stats,” he emphasized.
The examination body had put “corrective” measures in place to assist students writing the various exams, CXC’s Public Relations Manager Cleveland Sam told Barbados TODAY.
“We have study guides for CSEC and CAPE [Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination] subjects. We have for almost all of those subjects by now. We have been publishing those study guides . . . [and] we have also made the syllabuses available online free of cost for everyone to access them as well,” Sam said.
The CXC spokesman revealed that the school reports, which allow students to review past results, were also accessible online at no charge.
“With respect to specific subjects [such as] Maths, English and Caribbean History, CXC has set up three working groups to examine the issues affecting the performance of candidates in those subjects. And those committees are expected to present those reports to Council in December,” he revealed.
CXC had not conducted an investigation into the reasons behind the 11,000 failures, but it had noticed that in some of the subjects, such as Social Studies, the students had been inadequately prepared for the exam, he said.
“The examiners have observed that the students are not presenting Social Studies answers. They are presenting everyday answers as if they are having a conversation with someone down the road. So, they are not taking the time to learn the language of the subject, for example,” Sam said.
Data provided by the CXC shows that in 2016, there were 13,388 pupils who failed to secure a single pass, while there were 11,751 failures cases last year.