51st Meeting of the Caribbean Examinations Council held on 5 and 6 December 2019 at the Grenada Trade Centre, Morne Rouge, Grande Anse, St Georges, Grenada

11 December 2019

COMMUNIQUÉ

51st Meeting of the Caribbean Examinations Council held on 5 and 6 December 2019 at the Grenada Trade Centre, Morne Rouge, Grande Anse, St Georges, Grenada

The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) held its 51st annual governance meetings of the School Examinations Committee (SEC) and Council at the Grenada Trade Centre, Morne Rouge, Grande Anse, St Georges, Grenada on Friday 5-6 December 2019 respectively. The SEC and Council meetings were held under the Chairmanship of Dr Marcia Potter, Deputy Chairman of CXC, due to the unavoidable absence of Sir Hilary Beckles, Chairman.

Opening of Council and Presentation of Top Awards

The opening ceremony for Council and presentation of awards for outstanding performances in the May-June 2019 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination® (CAPE®), the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate® (CSEC®), and the Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence® (CCSLC®) examinations, was hosted at the Radisson Grenada Beach Resort (Crown Ballroom), Grand Anse Grenada, on Thursday 5 December at 7:00 pm. For the first time, the award for the best Caribbean Primary Exit AssessmentTM (CPEATM) performance in short story writing was included in the ceremony.

Honourable Pamela Moses, Minister of Education with responsibility for Tertiary Education, Skill Development and Education Outreach, in her remarks said: “…Ladies and gentlemen, I had the greatest honour yesterday of meeting these young people and I want to let you know that they have informed us that they want to change the world, and they will be doing it in some really amazing ways. I want to let you know that tonight I believe that they will actually do it.”

She added: “For the other students across the Caribbean who sat the exams of CXC and have not won any prizes here tonight, I say to you, do not lose hope as this is not the end of everything, and there will be many more opportunities coming your way to prove what you are truly made of…”

Dr Wayne Wesley, Registrar and CEO, CXC, welcomed participants to the official opening of the 51st Meeting of the Caribbean Examinations Council and presentation of Awards for Outstanding Performances in the May-June 2019 Examinations.

Dr Wesley, said: “…In our region, we are blessed with significant talent – our sportsmen, our singers, businessmen and women, medical personnel…and we need to find a way to come together for the betterment of the people of this region. In fact, our CARICOM song speaks to one Caribbean people.”

He added: “This set of young people are determined to ensure that this region reaps the benefit of the value of the human resources that are available to us.”

Dr Potter, Deputy Chairman, CXC, in her remarks said it was an honour and pleasure to address the audience on behalf of the Chairman, Sir Hilary Beckles, who was unable to join “in this very special celebration of our young and brightest across the region…” and extended his very best wishes to the awardees on their achievements.

The Deputy Chairman said, “We are here this evening to celebrate yet another group of Caribbean stars who continue to prove that despite our concerns and fears, many of our young people are doing well, and they prove to us that we are in good hands.

“Do we have some improvements to make in our education system? Of course, we do. There are still some of our young people who are not realising their full potential; we see for example, many our young people who register for CXC examinations but don’t show up for the exams; we see many of our young people failing the core subjects of Maths and English Language but those are discussions we continue to have across the region, as we endeavour to enable all of our students to fulfill their full potential…”

Honourable Gregory Bowen, Acting Prime Minister of Grenada, delivered the feature address at the ceremony. He said: “…Let me welcome and thank all of you for joining us this evening, on our beautiful island of Grenada, pure Grenada, Isle of Spice, gem in the Caribbean. We did not say the gem, because we are a collective today – a gem in the Caribbean.

“To all those who are with us through social media, a very warm welcome to you as well, to this Caribbean Examinations Council’s 51st Regional Top Awards Ceremony. It is indeed a very auspicious and highly charged moment for all of us, as the Council recognises outstanding performances by students throughout the Region.

“It is a distinct privilege and a delight, as Grenada is hosting this celebratory event for the first time. As such, it is also a historical occasion for our Nation and the Region. The hosting of events like these serve to motivate and encourage our students, both local and regional, to look beyond mediocrity and to strive for excellence in their examinations and other endeavours …”

For the first time at the awards ceremony, the winners of the Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEATM) short story competition were announced. The CPEATM Story Writing Competition was conceptualised to provide pupils participating in the CPEATM an opportunity to create stories that would be read by a regional audience of their peers. By providing pupils with an authentic audience for their stories, they will become more motivated to write.

Joshua Wilson-Dumont, from Westmorland Junior School, Grenada, and Jaaziah Hackett of Brades Primary, Montserrat were selected as the first place winners. Joshua received full marks for his short story and high commendations from all the judges. The title of Joshua’s winning story is: Peter’s Special Soup. Jaaziah’s story was entitled: “The Survivors of the New Orleans Plagues”.

Regional Top Awards
During the ceremony held on the night of Thursday 5 December, students from Anguilla, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago received awards for outstanding performances in the Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC®), Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC®), and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination® (CAPE®).

Erian Scott of Albena Lake-Hodge Comprehensive School, Anguilla, received the award for the Most Outstanding Female Student in CCSLC®, while Arje Rey of the Washington Archibald High School in St Kitts and Nevis, received the award for Most Outstanding Male Student in CCSLC®.

CSEC® Awardees
Riana Toney of the Anna Regina Secondary School, Guyana, secured the Most Outstanding Candidate Overall in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate® (CSEC®), and the Most Outstanding Candidate in Humanities. Students from Belize, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago scooped the other awards.

Samuel Haynes from Queen’s College, Guyana, won the award for Most Outstanding Candidate in Sciences. Brianna Gopie also of Queen’s College, Guyana, won the award for Most Outstanding Candidate for Business Education. Carl Webster of the Glenmuir High School, Jamaica excelled in Caribbean History and received the inaugural Menezes-Rodney Award sponsored by the University of Guyana.

This year, saw the introduction of the Professor Wilma Bailey Award for Outstanding Performance in CSEC Geography, in honour of the late Wilma Bailey. Professor Bailey was a former CXC Chief Examiner for over two decades, with a special passion for the subject of Geography. Amanda Williams from Lakshmi Girls’ Hindu College, Trinidad and Tobago is the inaugural winner.

Josh-Oniel Hemans from Guy’s Hill High School, Jamaica, won the award for Most Outstanding Candidate in Agricultural Science (CARDI Award).

The Best Short Story award was scooped by Zachary Brown of ASJA Boys’ College, Trinidad and Tobago.

Students from Trinidad and Tobago also received the top Visual Arts Awards. Renée Blanc of St Joseph’s Convent, won the Best 2-Dimensional Visual Arts Award, and Faith Barnett of Bishop Anstey High School, received the Best 3-Dimensional Visual Arts Award.

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) award for the top performer in Principles of Accounts was won by Rhea-Simone Lawrence of St Andrew High School for Girls, Jamaica.

Angie Matute of the Edward P. Yorke High School in Belize, won the award for Outstanding Performance in Technical and Vocational studies.

Anna Regina Secondary School, Guyana, received the award for CSEC® School of the Year 2019.

Since 2001, The University of the West Indies has partnered with CXC to offer scholarships to the CSEC Regional Top Awardees. The scholarships are intended to serve as a motivation for students to excel, and an attempt to keep the best brains from the region in the region.

CAPE
Students from schools in Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago shared the 2019 Regional Top Awards for outstanding performances in the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) May-June sitting.

This year, Michael Bhopaul from Queen’s College in Guyana, secured the annual Dennis Irvine Award, for the top overall student at the CAPE® level. In addition to scooping the top overall award, Michael also received the RM Results-sponsored award for Most Outstanding Candidate in Mathematics, and the top award for Natural Sciences.

Kameika Robinson of The Queen’s School, Jamaica, excelled in the field of Humanities and received the Most Outstanding Candidate Award, sponsored by Hodder Education. Students from Trinidad rounded out the top awards with achievements for Business Studies and Language Studies. Teddy-Ann Quamina of Arima Central Secondary School, received the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Business Studies award. Rayne Affonso of the St Augustine Girls’ High School earned herself the Most Outstanding Candidate award for Language Studies, with a mastery of modern languages.

Queen’s College, Guyana received the award for CAPE® School of the Year 2019.

Courtesy Calls

The awardees and a delegation from CXC and the Planning Committee, Grenada, paid courtesy calls to several dignitaries including: Her Excellency Dr Cécile La Grenade, Governor General of Grenada; Honourable Gregory Bowen, Acting Prime Minister; and Honourable Pamela Moses, Minister of Education with responsibility for Tertiary Education, Skill Development and Education Outreach.

The awardees spent a day on the island of Carriacou where they met with secondary school students, enjoyed local delicacies and a tour of the island.

Registrar’s Report

Registrar and CEO, Dr Wayne Wesley, presented the Registrar’s Report to SEC and Council, where he highlighted CXC’s new transformational agenda. Moving forward, CXC will not just project itself as an examinations body but as a regional enterprise that facilitates regional integration and development. This will be achieved by becoming the premier regional authority on influencing teaching, learning and assessment through the infusion of digital technology, informed by research and development.

Digital transformation will be at the forefront of CXC’s stakeholder interactions using technology to drive innovative solutions, which will include: Data Portals – with interrogative capabilities for descriptive and predictive analytics, dashboards, and the digital validation of results. There will also be a deployment of e-testing systems in schools to provide familiarity and preparation for both teachers and students.

In addition, there will be a transformation of the credentialing profile for Human Capital Development to include workforce readiness certification infused with digital literacy and employability skills; a Digital Education Identity will be established providing the ability to manage all credentials and reducing delay in the authentication process. There will also be a roll-out of a new CXC® Digital Credentialing App to support that process.

Following the Registrar and CEO’s Report, there was robust discussion about the transformational agenda, which was endorsed by Council. Council approved and welcomed the people-centered approach put forward by the Registrar and CEO, and recommended that there be greater collaboration with the Teachers’ Colleges across the region as well as consultation with students, as CXC seeks input for the development of its Strategic Plan for 2021 – 2025.

It was further agreed that CXC will provide:

  • Capacity building and guidance for teachers to improve delivery and performance of some subjects and to standardise training across the region – particularly for new generation subjects.
  • The region with a suitable qualification that allows all students to leave school with relevant employable skills.
  • Leadership in identifying and developing competencies needed to transform the Caribbean into a global competitor.
  • Application of Artificial Intelligence to drive transformation in education across the region.

The focus will also be placed on the process, which is geared toward the progression in acquiring skills and competencies along a continuum of learning experiences; a continuum spanning primary to lower tertiary: sub-baccalaureate; emphasis being placed on process driving assessment not assessment driving process.

To this end, The Council will now embark on:

  1. Promulgation of the value of CXC suite of products in addressing the current challenge of persons leaving the secondary system without the minimum skills and competencies required to function in society. Emphasis will be placed on the foundational development process of the CPEATM and CCSLC®.
  1. The implementation of modularisation of new and emerging areas to ensure students are sufficiently sensitised to the discipline and be prepared to pursue these disciplines at the tertiary level.

The Council also gave consideration to the development of a robust technological infrastructure and approved the implementation of a new structure, which will see the appointment of a Director of Technological Innovation.

Syllabus Development

The School Education Committee (SEC) ratified the major decisions from the meetings of its Sub-Committee (SUBSEC) held during 2019. Members were presented with the major decisions taken at those meetings including: approval of the plan to complete the development of the CAPE Biotechnology Syllabus.

CAPE Biotechnology

The SEC was informed that biotechnology is a broad-range of technologies that employ living organisms or parts of them to make diverse products. Members heard that global issues of climate change, infectious diseases, ageing population and food security could benefit from the application of biotechnology.

The SEC noted the areas of focus for the syllabus to be Medical, Agricultural and Industrial biotechnology. Members also noted that the syllabus was designed to acquaint students with biotechnology and its application in solving real life problems, transform the natural resources of the Caribbean (biological wealth) to tangible wealth, enhance the bio-economic status of the Region, and engage students in the development of nutraceutical products.

The SEC heard that consistent with syllabuses at the CAPE level, the Biotechnology Syllabus consists of two Units – Unit 1: Biotechnology Principles and Unit 2: Application of Biotechnology and its Regulations. Each unit comprises three modules. The assessment component of the syllabus would involve three papers. Paper 01 would consist of 45 multiple-choice items (15 from each module), Paper 02 would require candidates to complete three compulsory structured questions (one on each module, and Paper 03 (SBA) would require candidates to develop a product.

Other considerations include:

  • Approval of work to continue on the revision the CCSLC English, Mathematics, Integrated Science and Social Studies syllabuses. Approval of change to the Assessment component of the CCSLC Modern Languages to include a Paper 02 (written) and Paper 03 (Oral).
  • Approval of the CSEC Human and Social Biology and Music Syllabuses for teaching in September 2020 and examination in May-June 2022.
  • Approval of the CAPE Digital Media and Performing Arts syllabuses for teaching in September 2019 and examination in 2020, and the CAPE Design and Technology Syllabus for teaching in September 2021, and examination in May-June 2022.

CAPE Design and Technology

The SEC was informed that the instructional approach for the Design and Technology syllabus takes students through the design stages from inspiration to ideation through to implementation and that the syllabus will, among other things, create design thinkers who can innovate to solve a real world problem.

The SEC noted that the structure of the syllabus comprised two units: Unit 1 – Fundamentals of Design and Technology consisting of Introduction to Design and Technology; Design Approaches and Rapid Prototyping in Design. Unit 2 – Innovation and Product Development consisting of Design Technologies; Product Development and Marketing and Design and Technology for Entrepreneurs. The assessment format comprises 3 components: Paper 01, to be completed in 1 hour and 30 minutes; Paper 02, to be completed in 2 hours and 30 minutes, and the SBA component, which requires candidates to create a portfolio.

Approval of a one-year extension on the deadline for the submission of Technical Drawing examinations and SBA utilising the AutoCAD software.

Members expressed concern about the capacity, which exists in the Caribbean to deliver the content of the New Generation syllabuses, as well as the low uptake in those syllabuses.

Members suggested that consideration be given to including some aspects of the New Generation syllabuses as subsets of existing syllabuses. There was general consensus that building the capacity to support the delivery of the content of new generation syllabuses must begin within the universities and Teachers’ Colleges.

Examinations Administration

SEC and Council received a report on the administration of all examinations offered in 2019 CXC administered examinations for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC), Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE), Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC), Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA), Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ*).

The highlights of the report show the following trends:

  1. Marking went well and results delivered to schedule;
  2. Note general upward trending in CCSLC®;
  3. 8.5% increase in entries, CCSLC®, 2% down on CSEC® and 2% up on CAPE®;
  4. 85.6% CCSLC® Entry with acceptable grades;
  5. 72.2% CSEC® Entry with acceptable grades;
  6. 92.6% CAPE® Entry with acceptable grades;
  7. CAPE® – 3.5% improvement over 2018;
  8. CVQ (39% Certified) – up 10% from 2017;
  9. CPEA – 4.8% increase on the previous year Entries;
  10. Improved operations; reformed processes and adopted technology;
  11. CXC Continued the e-Everything progression;
  12. Results released on schedule, CAPE® and CSEC® release dates of August 13th and 15th, respectively; and
  13. Leading CVQs are: Electrical Installation, Commercial Food Preparation, Data Operations, and Metalwork Engineering. Strong upward movement of Call Centre Operations and General Cosmetology.

With respect to candidate and subject entries, there were 30,590 candidates for CAPE presenting 121,595 subject entries. There were 122,813 CSEC candidate entries and 557,564 subject entries. For CCSLC there were 7,777 candidates who offered 15,565 subject entries, and there were 4,298 entries for CPEA and 4,388 for CVQ.

UPDATE ON THE LEARNING HUB

The Pro-Registrar informed new members that the CXC Learning Hub is a web-based platform that provides a single access point and single sign on to resources that support teaching, learning and assessment of CXC products.

It was reported that since the Beta launch in September 2018, significant work to improve the platform was undertaken and that the hub was now live. The SEC heard that users currently have access to free resources which include interactive syllabuses, digital toolkits, sample past papers, subject reports, exemplars and practice tests. The SEC also heard that by the close of business for 2019, users will be able to access premium resources such as study guides and textbooks.

CXC CONFERENCE 2021

The SEC was informed of CXC’s plan to host its Inaugural Conference in Jamaica in June 2021 at the Hilton Rosehall Hotel, Montego Bay. Members noted the theme: “Building Capacity Through Collaboration, Exploration and Innovation” and heard that CXC had taken note of the concerns of markers that the online marking process had taken away the collaboration and learning experience of face-to-face marking. Territories were asked for their support in sponsoring teachers/students from their territories to attend the conference.

Members were also informed of the inclusion of a Culture Yard feature at the conference and territories were encouraged to participate and showcase various aspects of their culture. The SEC heard that details of the conference would be forwarded to Ministries early in 2020.

BUDGET

The Council approved the budget for 2020, which provides for projected revenue of $49,080M Barbados dollars and total expenditure of $48,201M Barbados dollars. The budget provides for financing activities related to CXC’s strategic objectives for 2020.

APPRECIATION

Council recorded its sincerest appreciation to the Government and people of Grenada for hosting the meetings and for the warm hospitality shown to delegates and the awardees. Antigua has offered to host the 52nd meetings of SEC and Council in 2020, and the British Virgin Island has offered to host the 53rd meetings in 2021.

-End-

For further information, please contact Mr Richard Rose, Corporate Communications Manager (rrose@cxc.org) or Ms Folayan Taitt, Public Relations and Marketing Officer (ftaitt@cxc.org) on +1 (246) 227-1889 or +1 (246) 227-1892 respectively.