The syllabus development procedures adopted by the Council are based on the Council's firm belief that there should exist a close relationship between the schools' curriculum and the examinations. Syllabuses are therefore formulated by Panels of subject specialists drawn from those groups responsible for the design and the implementation of curriculum - classroom teachers, members of regional universities and other tertiary institutions and members of curriculum and testing units of Ministries of Education.
During the period of formulation of a syllabus, there is wide-ranging consultation involving teachers, interested organizations and groups in the participating territories. The draft syllabuses are circulated widely for comments. The draft syllabuses and the comments are then considered by a Sub-committee of the School Examinations Committee (SUBSEC), the members of which represent the teaching profession, the Ministries of Education and regional universities. The revised draft is then submitted to the School Examinations Committee (SEC) for its consideration and approval. Finally, the recommended syllabuses are submitted to the Council for its consideration and approval.
The syllabus statement is set out in terms of general objectives and specific objectives, the latter indicating the knowledge and skills to be tested and reported as profiles. Also included in the statement is the format of the examination. Syllabuses in which there is a School-Based Assessment (SBA) component include a Teacher's Guide which identifies the demands and sets out in detail, the procedures for assessment.
Biology explores the levels of organization of life, from the molecular level, through cellular to higher levels. It includes developing an understanding of the interactions within and between organisms and between organisms and their environment. The study of biology recognizes, however, that humans have a greater influence on the environment than other species. The study of biology, therefore, is designed to assist students to recognize their responsibility to conserve, protect, maintain and improve the quality of the biological environment for future generations.
The Biology Syllabus is designed to allow students to work individually and with others in practical, field and interactive activities that are related to theoretical concepts in the course. It is expected that students will apply investigative and problem-solving skills, effectively communicate scientific information and appreciate the contribution that a study of biology makes to their understanding of the world. The syllabus will assist students to develop positive values and attitudes towards the living components of the environment and will also provide a sound foundation for those who wish to pursue further studies in the sciences.
The syllabus is arranged in five sections as follows:
Section A - Organisms in the Environment
Section B - Life Processes
Section C - Continuity and Variation
Section D - Disease and its Impact on Humans
Section E - The Environment and Human Activities