AFC wants action on poor CSEC pass rates

The AFC yesterday said that something needed to be done about the national pass rates, while congratulating this year’s top performing Carib-bean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Profi-ciency Examination (CAPE) students and schools.

The issue was raised by AFC MP Trevor Williams during a press conference where he gave kudos on the party’s behalf to this year’s CSEC headliners Zimeena Rasheed, who attained 18 grades ones and 2 grade twos, and Yogeeta Persaud, who gained 18 grade ones. Both girls hail from Anna Regina Multilateral Secondary in Essequibo

Williams also congratulated several schools, including the Bishops’ High School, which saw improvements in their overall pass rates, but cautioned that there is work to be done to improve national results.

Nearly three in four students continue to secure below a grade 3 in Mathematics, a core subject. Statistics revealed by the Education Ministry shows that 28.92% of students secured grades 1-3, down from 29.69%. English A results were not as dismal as 45.69% of Guyana’s students secured grades 1-3, up from 37.02% in 2012.

These results are especially important since these are core subjects and are usually requirements for accessing jobs and tertiary educational opportunities.

Williams lamented these numbers, and asked what measures are being put in place to improve students’ performance in these areas.

Asked what actions the party would recommend to yield improvements, AFC member Beverly Alert said that improvements in remuneration and working conditions would do much to improve the quality of education being offered.

She added that the teacher-student ratio in Guyana is also an issue, since teachers are usually tasked with instructing classes well over the prescribed sizes.  This too, she said, needs to be addressed.

Asked if the party was of the opinion that students today are sitting too many subjects, Alert said she believed if a student has the aptitude to do many subjects, they should be allowed to do so. Inversely, she said that if a student is not competent enough to sit an extensive number of subjects, they should not be made to do so.

This decision, she argued, has to be made by teachers, since they, along with parents, are best able to assess their students’ capabilities. She also said that no school should be setting a limit on the amount subjects any student is required to sit.

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