I am pleased to present the Annual Report which documents the accomplishments of and the challenges faced by the Caribbean Examinations Council during the year 2016.

The Council had another busy year and was engaged on several fronts across the region. A key quality assurance mechanism was challenged – the use of School Based Assessments (SBAs) - as a means of ensuring that students adequately meet the requirements for certification. This has brought to the fore the need for the Council to work even more closely with ministries of education in Participating Countries on early detection modalities for potential problems and for more open dialogue with all stakeholders. This type of engagement with stakeholders has already begun with educators, third form students, parents, private education institutions and the private sector to raise awareness of CXC’s and their role, requirements and responsibilities in ensuring that we provide transparent, relevant, academically rigorous and industry accepted curricula and certification.

Responsiveness to stakeholders’ needs was paramount, particularly in the areas of curriculum development and certification in areas relevant to national and regional development. During 2016, several “new generation” CAPE subjects were launched, specifically, Animation and Game Design in Jamaica; Green Engineering in Guyana and Financial Services in the Virgin Islands (UK). I look to the future when we can infuse at the secondary school level, curricula that are even more relevant to the region’s development needs including aspects of sports, entrepreneurship, new aspects of information technology, to name just a few. I am confident that these subject areas will articulate well with innovative programmes being implemented at the tertiary level to drive wealth creation and development across our region.

Technological innovation continues to be a central focus and the Council continued the transition to electronic marking of scripts for CSEC and CAPE. This year, 2016, signalled the end of face-to-face marking. Despite the loss of the networking and synergies that face-to-face marking has engendered over the years, the reality is that the cost of travel is unsustainable. The Council has embraced the use of technology in its operations and E-marking and E-testing will be the norm going forward. E-testing will begin in January 2017. Following pilot tests conducted in April 2016, free practice tests were offered in October and November 2016 to participating institutions.

Evidence-based decision making is another area on which the Council will be placing much emphasis going forward and in 2016, the first customer satisfaction survey was conducted to ascertain stakeholders’ levels of satisfaction with the services they receive from CXC. The data gleaned therefrom will inform CXC strategy for improving customer service levels.

None of this would be possible without the dedicated team led by the Registrar and Pro-Registrar. My warmest congratulations are extended to the entire team for their dedication and hard work in keeping the Caribbean Examinations Council relevant and responsive to regional needs. Keep up the good work!

Professor Sir Hilary McD Beckles

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