Gains in English, Math as CSEC results improve

-zero passes for 600 students

Minister of Education Nicolette Henry announcing the 2018 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Examination results. (Terrence Thompson photo)

The Education Ministry yesterday reported an improvement in the overall pass rate among Guyanese students at this year’s Caribbean Secondary Education Certification (CSEC) examinations, surpassing the regional average while also making gains in English and Mathematics. 

While Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) Registrar Glenroy Cumberbatch recently reported that 60,000 candidates wrote five or more CSEC subjects and 59% of them gained acceptable grades, Minister of Education Nicolette Henry yesterday told those gathered in the boardroom of the National Centre for Education Resource Development (NCERD) that 69.1% of the 12,269 Guyanese students who sat this year’s examinations earned Grade 1 to Grade 3 passes, compared to 63.68% in 2017 and 63.39% in 2016.

However, while 233 of the Guyanese students were able to secure Grade 1 passes in more than eight subjects, more than 600 or approximately 5% were unable to secure passes in any subject area. Additionally, despite the improvement in the pass rate for Mathematics, at 43.39%, it remains one of three subjects where the pass rate is less than 50%. The other two subjects are Integrated Science, with a pass rate of 49.1%, and Music, which a mere 28.57% of candidates passed.

Speaking with members of the media at the announcement of the results yesterday, Chief Education Office Marcel Hutson noted that in Guyana 600 plus public school students were unable to achieve Grades 1, 2 or 3 in any of the subjects they attempted.

He further explained that this is the first time that the ministry has collected this particular statistic but stressed that it will be addressed in future.

“We have looked at it now and it will be addressed going forward. We are going to disaggregate the data, isolate the schools where this is happening and address it,” he promised.

CXC had announced that some 11,000 or 13% of the 60,000 students who wrote the exams earned zero passes in 2018.

In announcing Guyana’s results, Henry explained that improved performances were evident in 16 subjects, while constant performances were noted in 7 subjects and declining performances in 12 subjects.

Specifically, outstanding performances were noted in 7 subjects, where at least 90% of candidates gained acceptable Grades. These subjects include Agricultural Science (Double Award), where there was a 96.14% pass rate, Information Technology, with a 97.5% pass rate, Religious Education, with a 96.69% pass rate, Physical Education and Sports, with a 99.92% pass rate, and Industrial Technology (Mechanical), with a 98.57% pass rate.

Improvements have been recorded in Grades 1 to 3 passes in Mathematics and English, which were major areas of concern last year.

English Language saw a pass rate of 67.14% in 2018 and 57.99% in 2017, while the pass rate in English Literature in 2018 is 78.6% as compared with 44.45% in 2017. The 2017 pass rate had represented an eight percent decline from 52.94% in 2016.

Meanwhile, General Mathematics also saw improved pass rate of 43.39% in 2018 as compared with 39.23% in 2017, while Additional Mathematics remained constant with a pass rate 68.45% in 2018 compared with 68.61% in 2017.

The other subjects that saw improved performances were: Biology, at 63.9% from 61.98% last year; Chemistry at 56.4% from 47.81%; Geography at 72.19% from 56.73%; Information Technology at 97.5% from 92.62%; Office Administration at 84.2% from 80.12%; Physics at 66.27% from 52.92%; Social Studies at 66.28% from 54.57%; Spanish at 64.4% from 58.08%; Visual Arts at 50% from 44.45%; Human and Social Biology at 72.49% from 55.35%; Textiles, Clothing and Fashion at 81.48% from 69.49%; Technical Drawing at 89.53% from 81.52 %; and Industrial Techno-logy (Mechanical) at 98.57% compared to 88.74 % last year.

Seven subjects recorded a constant performance: Caribbean History, with a 71.94% pass rate compared to 71.72% last year; Religious Education, with 96.69% compared to 96.75%; Theatre Arts, with 99.35% compared to 100%; Electronic Document Preparation & Management, with 97.95% compared to 97.25%; Physical Education and Sports, at 99.92% compared to 99.01%; Additional Mathematics, at 68.45% compared to 68.61%; and Family and Resource Management, at 85.17% compared to 85.42%.

Declining passes were recorded in Agricultural Science (Double Award) at 96.4% compared to 98.57% last year; Agricultural Science (Single Award) with 86.57% compared to 92.37% last year; Economics, with 70.03% compared to 76.31% last year; French, with 78.69% compared to 80% last year; Integrated Science, with 49.1% compared with 59.12% last year; Principles of Accounts, with 74.49% compared to 76.8% last year; Principles of Business, with 83.65% compared to 85.62% last year; Portuguese, with 71.55% compared to 83.04% last year; Food, Nutrition and Health, with 89.06% compared to 91.16% last year; Indus-trial Technology (Electri-cal), with 87.86%, compared to 89.64% last year; and Industrial Technology (Building), with 89.77% compared to 94.75% last year.

Notably, music, where there was a 100% pass rate in 2017 saw a significant decline to a 28.57% pass rate.

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