Decisions from 47th Council Meeting

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The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) held its 47th meeting at Radisson Fort George Hotel on Friday 4 December and the meeting of the School Committee (SEC) on Thursday 3 December 2015 under the Chairmanship of Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies.

Opening Ceremony
The opening ceremony for Council and presentation of awards for outstanding performances in the May/June 2015 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) and the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations was hosted at Best Western Hotel on Thursday 3 December at 7:00 pm.

Honourable Patrick Faber, Minister of Education delivered the feature address at the ceremony. Minister Faber described CXC as “a fine example of regionalism.” The Minister said CXC is a true partner with Belize and is currently working with CXC on several projects.

Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Chairman of the Caribbean Examinations Council gave remarks at the ceremony. Professor Beckles described the ceremony as a “grand moment of celebrations in the midst of challenges.” Describing the awardees as “extraordinary” the UWI Vice Chancellor said they represent the truth of the matter, not the negatives which we hear each day.”

Sir Hilary charged the top awardees to give back to the Caribbean region regardless of where their academic pursuits take them. “It doesn’t matter where you go, it is where your heart is,” the CXC Chairman stated.

Mr Glenroy Cumberbatch, Registrar of CXC giving remarks at the opening ceremony, said the regional top awards programme promotes regional integration and awareness as the awardees have the opportunity interact with each other and students from the host country. He also pointed out that notwithstanding the tremendous academic accomplishments of the awardees, they are well-rounded individuals who are involved in several extra-curriculum activities.

Regional Top Awards
During the ceremony held on the night of Thursday 3 December, students from four Caribbean countries – Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago – received awards for outstanding performances in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and in the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE).

Students from schools in Guyana dominated the Regional Top Awards for outstanding performances at the CSEC, while students from Trinidad and Tobago continued their dominance of awards for outstanding performances at the CAPE. However, this year, for the first time, a student from Antigua and Barbuda received the award for the Most Outstanding Candidate at CSEC. Brandon Judnarine won the award with 22 subjects in one sitting. Another first this year – a student from Guyana won the Dennis Irvine Award, the symbol of academic excellence at CAPE. In doing so, Cecil Cox also became the first CSEC award to win a CAPE regional top award. He achieved acceptable grades in 14 CAPE Units.

The awardees’ achievements are listed below:

CSEC 

Most Outstanding Candidate in Visual Arts, 2-Dimensional Work

Saegel Bascombe

Naparima Girls’ High School

Trinidad and Tobago
Saegel’s piece was entitled “Drought” and is taken from the Painting and Mixed Media Expressive Form. The Chief Examiner said of Saegel’s work; “This is wonderfully expressed by thin, subtly applied layers of colour, combined with the other design elements such as shape, form and repetition. The final result of this creation is psychologically expressive and is an impressive achievement at this level.”

 

Most Outstanding Candidate in Visual Arts, 3-Dimensional Work

Angel Neptune

Bishop Anstey High School

Trinidad and Tobago
Angel’s work is from the Sculpture and Ceramics Expressive Form and is entitled “Fish”. The Chief Examiner states, “This incense burner takes the form of the Japanese Koi fish. It is hollow throughout and made of thin, quite delicately manipulated clay. In the body of the fish, the clay is perforated multiple times to allow the scents of the incense to escape. Interestingly, the positioning of these perforations also create the illusion of scales; a very creative solution to a possible challenge.”

 

Most Outstanding Candidate in Short Story Writing

Shauntelle Edwards

Glenmuir High School

Jamaica
Shauntelle’s story is based on the following stimulus: As I step though the front door, something felt different. The usual smell of dinner was absent and I know something had changed.

 

Most Outstanding Candidate in Technical/Vocation Education

Aliyah Rasheed

Anna Regina Secondary School

Guyana
Aliyah achieved Grade I in 20 subjects: Agricultural Science (DA), Biology, Chemistry, English A, English B, Electronic Document Preparation and Management, Electrical and Electronic Technology, Food and Nutrition, Home Economics Management, Information Technology, Integrated Science, Mathematics, Office Administration, Physics, Principles of Business, Social Studies, Spanish, Technical Drawing, and Physical Education and Sport.

 

Most Outstanding Candidate in Business Education

Victoria Najab

Saraswati Vidya Niketan School

Guyana
Victoria achieved Grade I in Additional Mathematics, Agricultural Science, Biology, Caribbean History, Chemistry, Economics, Electronic Document Preparation and Management, English A, English B, Geography, Human and Social Biology, Information Technology, Integrated Science, Mathematics, Office Administration, Physics, Principles of Accounts, Principles of Business, Social Studies and Spanish.

 

Most Outstanding Candidate in Sciences

Shannon Woodroffe

Queen’s College

Guyana
Shannon achieved Grade I in Grade I in 14 subjects: Additional Mathematics, Agricultural Science, Biology, Chemistry, English A, English B, Electronic Document Preparation and Management, French, Geography, Human and Social Biology, Information Technology, Integrated Science, Mathematics and Physics.

 

Most Outstanding Candidate in Humanities

Joshanna Hopkinson

Queen’s College

Guyana
Joshanna achieved Grade I in 18 subjects: Additional Mathematics, Caribbean History, Economics, Electronic Document Preparation and Management, English A, English B, French, Geography, Information Technology, Integrated Science, Mathematics, Office Administration, Principles of Accounts, Principles of Business, Religious Education, Social Studies, and Spanish.

 

Most Outstanding Candidate Overall

Brandon Judnarine

St Joseph Academy

Antigua and Barbuda
Brandon achieved Grade I in 21 subjects and one Grade II. Brandon achieved Grade I in Additional Mathematics, Biology, Caribbean History, Chemistry, Economics, English A, English B, French, Geography, Information Technology, Integrated Science, Mathematics, Mathematics, Office Administration, Physics, Principles of Accounts, Principles of Business, Social Studies, Technical Drawing, Electronic Document Preparation and Management, Physical Education and Sport, Human and Social Biology, and Building Technology, and Grade II in Technical Drawing.

Mr Rudolph Davis, principal of St Joseph Academy, Antigua and Barbuda received the CSEC School of the Year Award on behalf of the school.

 

Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE)

Most Outstanding Candidate in Modern Languages

Vasha Maharaj

Naparima Girls’ High School

Trinidad and Tobago
Vasha achieved Grade I in eight Units al with A’s on the module grades: Caribbean Studies, Communication Studies, French Units 1 and 2, Literatures in English Units 1 and 2, and Spanish Units 1 and 2.

 

Most Outstanding Candidate in Information and Communication Technology

Dimitri Pollard

Hillview College

Trinidad and Tobago
He achieved Grade I in Applied Mathematics Units 1 and 2, Caribbean Studies, Communication Studies, Computer Science Units 1 and 2, Physics Units 1 and 2 and Pure Mathematics Units 1 and 2.

 

Most Outstanding Candidate in Mathematics

Yohance Osborne

Hillview College

Trinidad and Tobago
Yohance achieved Grade I in eight Units: Applied Mathematics Units 1 and 2, Caribbean Studies, Communication Studies, Physics Units 1 and 2, and Pure Mathematics Units 1 and 2.

 

Most Outstanding Candidate in Technical Studies

Alex Navarro

Fatima College

Trinidad and Tobago
Alex achieved Grade I in Applied Mathematics Units 1 and 2, Caribbean Studies, Chemistry Units 1 and 2, Communication Studies, Geometrical and Mechanical Engineering Drawing Units 1 and 2, , Physics Units 1 and 2 and Pure Mathematics Unit 1 and 2.

 

Most Outstanding Candidate in Environmental Science

Puja Ramberran

St Joseph’s Convent, Port of Spain

Trinidad and Tobago
Puraj achieved Grade I in eight Units: Biology Units 1 and 2, Caribbean Studies, Communications Studies, Environment Science Units 1 and 2 and Geography Units 1 and 2.

 

Most Outstanding Candidate in Business Studies

Shonta Noel

St Rose’s High School

Guyana
Shonta achieved Grade I in nine Units: Accounting Units 1 and 2, Caribbean Studies, Economics Units 1, Entrepreneurship Unit 2, Management of Business Units 1 and 2, and Grade II in Communication Studies and Economics Units 2.

 

Most Outstanding Candidate in Natural Sciences

Theana Hay

St Augustine Girls’ High School

Trinidad and Tobago
Theanna achieved Grade I in eight Units all with A grade on the Modules. Theana achieved Grade I in Biology Units 1 and 2, Caribbean Studies, Chemistry Units 1 and 2, Communication Studies and Physics Units 1 and 2.

 

Most Outstanding Candidate in Humanities (CXC/Hodder Education Award)

Nadia Ali

Naparima Girls’ High School

Trinidad and Tobago
Nadia won the Humanities award with Grade I in seven Units: Caribbean Studies, Communication Studies, History Units 1 and 2, Literatures in English Units 1; and sociology Units 1 and 2and Grade II in Literatures in English Unit 2. Nadia will receive the CXC/Pearson Humanities Award sponsored by Hodder Education.

 

Most Outstanding Candidate Overall in the Caribbean

Cecil Cox

Queen’s College

Guyana
Cecil achieved Grade I in 13 CAPE Units: Applied Mathematics Units 1 and 2, Caribbean Studies, Chemistry Units 1 and 2, Communication Studies, Computer Science Unit 1, Digital Media Units 1 and 2, Physics Units 1 and 2 and Pure Mathematics Unit 1 and 2, and Grade II in Computer Science Unit 2.

Principal of Queen’s College, Guyana, Ms Jennifer Benn received the award for CAPE School of the Year on behalf of Queen’s College.

 

Courtesy Calls
While in Belize, the awardees and a delegation from CXC and the Ministry of Education paid courtesy calls on His Excellency Sir Colville Young, Governor General of Belize; Honourable Dean Barrow, Prime Minister; Honourable Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture; and Leader of the Opposition Honourable Francis Fonseca.

The awardees also visited historic Xunantunich Maya Archaeological Site, and Old Belize Museum. They also visited the Belmopan Comprehensive School where they were entertained by students of the school and contributed to the entertainment with two performances of their own – a poem written by Angel Neptune and a duet by Shauntelle Edwards and Joshanna Hopkinson and interact with students from schools in Belize.

Registrar’s Report
Council received the 2015 Registrar’s Report presented by Mr Glenroy Cumberbatch, CXC Registrar. Mr Cumberbatch highlighted the major achievements this year, under the Council’s three strategic objectives. These include an increased number of CSEC subjects being e-marked and the implementation of e-marking to CAPE Units; increased stakeholder engagement of principals and parents;

 

Report on the Administration of Examinations
Mr Noel Stennett, Senior Assistant Registrar-Examinations Administration and Security, presented a report on the administration of examinations in 2015. He explained that there was an increase in entries for the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE). Candidate entries increased from 29, 378 in 2014 to 30, 545 candidates in 2015, while subject entries moved from 114, 002 last year to 120, 139 entries this year.

For the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC), there was a decline in both candidate and subject entries. Candidate entries declined from 142, 884 in 2014 to 132, 824 this year, a decline of seven per cent; while subject entries also declined, from 603, 383 entries in 2015 to 578, 035 this year, for a four percentage point decline.

For the Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Certificate (CCSLC), there was an increase in candidate entries, but a decline in subject entries. Candidate entries moved from 5, 478 in 2014 to 5, 707 entries this year, while subject entries declined from 13, 742 in 2014 to 12, 330 this year, a ten percentage decline over 2014.

 

Review of CCSLC
Professor Hazel Simons-McDonald, former Vice Chancellor of the UWI Open Campus presented a report on the review of the Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC).

The review was commissioned by Council in 2014 and comprised a committee of ministry of education personnel, teachers, teachers unions, and employers’ confederations.

The report looked at the challenges of CCSLC including assessment, promotion, sensitization, and administrative issues.

The committee made 29 recommendations and concluded that the CCSLC programme should be retained with some changes to give prominence to its significance in promoting the attitudes, attributes, affective qualities and competencies considered ideal for Caribbean citizens.

Council accepted the recommendations and representatives made a commitment to the recommendations and promoting the CCSLC in their individual countries.

 

Caribbean History
SEC had a lively discussion on Caribbean History. It was recommended that a taskforce be established to examine the decline in Caribbean History candidates and address the issues involved.

Syllabus Development (CAPE)
The meeting of School Examination Committee (SEC) ratified the approval of the decision to move ahead with the development of syllabuses for Integrated Mathematics, Logistics and Supply Chain Operations, and Animation and Game Design.

The meeting of SEC also ratified the revisions of CAPE Food and Nutrition including the addition of the Caribbean Vocation Qualification as the School Based Assessment and the inclusion of a Unit entitled “The Fundamentals of Food and Nutrition.” Additionally, SEC ratified the approval of the renaming of CAPE Geometrical and Mechanical Engineering Drawing to Building and Mechanical Engineering and Drawing (BMED). The revised syllabus was distributed for teaching in 2015 and first examination in 2016.

 

Syllabus Development (CSEC)
The meeting also ratified the approval of the revised syllabuses for CSEC Home Economics, Industrial Technology, Integrated Science, Technical Drawing, and Geography syllabuses for distribution and teaching in 2015 and first examination in 2017.

The revised syllabuses for English and Mathematics which include SBA component were noted by SEC. The SBA will come into effect in 2016 and take the form of a single project where candidates demonstrate application of mathematical principles in solving real-world problems.

 

Revised Criteria for Top Awards
SEC noted the changes to the selection criteria for regional top awards. One more award will be given for outstanding performance at the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE). The award will be given for outstanding performance in Creative and Expressive Arts subject cluster.

Two new awards will be introduced in 2016, one for the most outstanding male performer at CCSLC and the other for the most outstanding female performer.

 

Budget
The Council approved the budget for 2016 which provides for projected revenue of 49, 756, 000 Barbados dollars and total expenditure of 48, 892, 000 Barbados dollars. The budget provides for financing activities related to CXC’s three strategic priorities: 

To strengthen our business model through diversification of our examinations portfolio, segment profile and geographic markets; To secure financial stability through sustainable revenue growth; increased efficiency and expense management; and to deliver an enhanced stakeholder experience through investment in the right people, consistent use of technology and adherence to quality standards.

 

Appreciation
Council recorded its sincerest appreciation to the Government and people of Belize and the Ministry of Education in particular for hosting the meeting and their warm hospitality shown to delegates while in Belize.

Council is especially appreciative of Honourable Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, Belize who hosted the regional top awardees for a courtesy call and delivered the feature address at the opening of Council. Minister Faber also hosted a reception for delegates on Friday night.

Barbados has offered to host the 2016 meetings of SEC and Council.