CXC: 11,000 pupils got zero passes

CXC: 11,000 pupils got zero passes

(TRINIDAD NEWSDAY) – SOME 11,000 pupils across the region who wrote the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Exam (formerly O’levels) last May/June got no passes.

So said Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) Registrar Glenroy Cumberbatch at a function for the official release of results in Grenada on Saturday.

The shocking figures came on the weekend when otherwise pupils in TT yesterday (Sunday) received their results for the CAPE Exam (formerly A’levels) from the CXC’s online portal. Pupils can access their CSEC results online on Thursday.

Cumberbatch lamented that the region might not be adequately preparing pupils to be employed or self-employed.

He said just 20 per cent of the Caribbean population get to write the CSEC Exam, and of this cohort some 13 per cent pass no subjects. Cumberbatch said one way to remedy this trend was to aim for a “wallet of certification” that also includes the CVQ and CCSLC, known to be vocational qualifications, to certify your competence in a particular area.

However Cumberbatch then said this year’s CSEC results were actually better than last year’s.

“This year we had over 60,000 candidates doing five or more CSEC subjects and 59 per cent of them gaining acceptable grades.”

He said Grenada had exceeded the regional average by having 63 per cent of pupils gain acceptable grades.

Newsday was unable to contact Education Minister Anthony Garcia for a comment on local results at CAPE or CSEC levels.


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  1. Our education system needs to be revamped to include more technical and enterpreneurship as well as academics. That one size fits all stuff has never worked and is causing the erosion of our society. Lets looks at America as an example, most jobs there are created by small businesses.


  2. Lol....first off the education system is design to fail the yutes...n if is one tng ive learnt.... Cxc cnt n wont mek u successful..... Fooling is the real teacher... Ud b surprise the same set dt get zero. B mre successful dan url that feel url highly educated


      • You may be the one out of touch with the fluidity of modern communication and may need to broaden your mind of text message shorthand. If 21 century youths used this informal writing style in a piece of creative writing as eloquently as Personality to give voice to youths on the margin of society, they will achieve top marks!


    • It's true academics doesn't predict how much money you'll make in life.
      But don't say the education is designed to failed the youths. Its just old/young some people never cared. Like you and your English skills for example.


    • A zero score is not an indication that a student is unintelligent. Education is a lifelong learning experience for the cradle to the grave. It is much more than passes or fails at common entrance and CXC exams. The 59 percent of students have the required qualifications and are catered for in some fashion. They have stepping stones to education and vocation paths in the Caribbean and internationally.

      What is glaringly obvious is the demise and invisibility of those students without adequate grades. What career paths and provisions are made for them? Is it adequate? If not, the Caribbean region needs to address the lack of educational provision for this 41 percent of young people without basic qualifications and must focus on the minimum educational standards for all adults which can be achieved in stages 1 and 2 (stage 2 equivalent to CXC level) - numeracy, literacy, computer/digital technology, customer service and citizenship. For many adults this would be the first time where basic reading, writing and numeracy skills will be tackled adequately. Many would not have to wait until they are a captive audience in a prison or correction facilities to gain basic education and life skills or vocational courses.

      Caribbean people need to come away from glorifying students with the highest grades and shaming and damning those who fail. The former inflate egos and the later erode self-esteems both negatively affect the psyche of the nation.


    • And judging by your spelling and grammar, you are clearly in the bottom percentile. We need more illiterates like you though, to make the average persons credentials more valuable.


  3. Let's start by focussing on what our children are drawn to/interested in. To do so, we need to analyze their behavior, character, demeanor, trend, interests, lifestyle. After doing so, now it's time to minus the things that won't help improve their academics and add/introduce the things we as productive goal driven adults believe would help with their accomplishments academically. 1.They spend too much time in front the TV? What are they watching? Is it aducational? Is it encouraging failure? Maybe monitor the TV shows. Cut down on TV time. Replace it with reading. 2. Are they spending too much time out with friends? Are their friends positive and productive "goal diggers?" Do they lime in places that distract their ability to improve academic skillful growth? What's the purpose of "hanging out?" What times do they go out hanging and how long for? 3. Class involvement. Do they attend their regular classes as expected? What are their relationships with the teachers? Are there any feuds in the classroom between students and/teachers? Class assignments, are they being done and completed (on time)? 4. Social media distractions: is it enhancing their minds positively or wrecking their minds? Use of social media can assist positively to share useful information. But what's the purpose to them, the children? 5. The home. The atmosphere in the home. Are the children safe from abuse? Are they well fed? Do they sleep comfortably? Is the household peaceful? Are they being granted study time and not given chores that take up their entire study period? If a child is not troubled within the home then their minds are free to concentrate more positively. These five (5) guidelines are very important to follow in the upbringing of children. The saying goes, "All work and no play make Jack a dull boy," but it is also true that all play and no work make Jack a foolish toy. A balanced lifestyle is just as important as a balanced diet. The government will have shortcomings (or as we call them "faults"), even our education system may fail in certain areas, teachers are human beings and are prone to unacceptable characters but all of this should not stop us from wanting and striving for what's best for our kids. We as parents have the most important role and that is to ensure our children are accomplishing the best in life. Don't blame the government or teachers or social media. Take a rise and be the eyes in our children's future. If we want the best out of them, we need to put our best in them.


  4. I am a specialist teaching assistant working with the most able and least able students, I happened to spend holidays with a friend who has a teenager at home revising his CSEC exams. I noticed he would fall asleep whilst studying so I decided to be his study buddy. I created examination conditions and afterwards corrected his work and give him feedback. This young man answered the question that were straightforward and did not require much thought in other words; low level skills which are usually allocated two to three marks. These questions will not give him the pass marks even when he answers all of them correctly. He agreed with me that my observation was the same as his tutor’s. If he is to pass, I had to teach him how to tackle higher level skills questions. These questions gain the highest marks, requiring research, analysis, creativity and problem solving, and sustained writing. which he possessed but was unable to harness under exam situations. Once he knew how to answer the more difficult exam questions and developed the stamina of sustained writing, he was able to ace all his exams.

    It is my observation that not all students in the class are challenged to master higher level skills nor get personalised learning programmes to address their shortcomings. Exam results simply highlight limitations in teaching and learning. Improve both and the education standards will improve.


  5. Everyone seems to be attacking students and government as if God created life to be stuck into a room and learning stuff in order to be a slave to society for years.. Spend some 25years of study even more and then another 30 in work then a suppose 15 trying to regained the life you have lost.. Trying to build ungrateful governments in the Caribbean who pose to care... Politics is a issue in this they try to build on one field so they can compete against another party well teaching our students that unnecessary debates in order to get a position that your lies in how you get it isn't fulfilled In the years. First the government Need to care and not say things they don't mean for campaigns.. Not every student is going to be a intellect some are skilled how about the MOE'S established vocational skills schools just as any other secondary schools and teach maths and English there with a large list of skills since the transcript cannot do the work but the practical knowledge. I can say in Jamaica what I see destroy many kids is at gsat where they are sent to schools and the emphasis or praise is placed on the traditional school passes.,some have given up from that point since they are been called dunce they will feel unimportant and seems not to care. I can state a lot of problem I've seen with my eyes but it makes no sense since people will complain about the facts and seems to care about statistics which doesn't always contain every body or the statement study of shown and I'm 100% certain that study don't involved 1000 persons and most country contain millions so why the fuss about a portion and not focus on all? Kmt people need to attack the root and not the surface


  6. Pay attention to the number of hours students miss out on classroom instruction for useless activities. Back in the day teaching continued right up until exams. Exams ended when the school term ended. You came to collect your report book during the holidays. Pretty much every day was used doing something teaching-centric. Nowadays, 2 weeks before the term ends, all classes done, all exams done. Students sit in class idle. That's almost 14 days of a 65 day term lost every single term. 15% less time for student to learn. Then let's add all the other "activities" that take away from instructions. Professional Development Day is usually two days of class time. Another 3% of teaching time gone. Mind you, teachers get paid for holidays. And PDD could easily held during holidays. Then let's talk about absenteeism. That's a pandemic. For those with kids, ask them how many teachers show up everyday for class. Then you find the root of the the problem. Sure WhatsApp, facebook and instagram are distractions. But those distractions are no different from comic books, video games and toys from years ago. Parents now have no more problems now than parents back then. Sure there are excellent teachers now, but let's be honest, the vast majority of them don't give a hoot. Writing from a very informed position.


    • Firstly, research has shown that education systems filled with standardized tests that take away from general self development doesn't improve results but at time can harm students in the future. Please consider the german(or Netherlands I don't quite exactly remember which country) education system vs the American system as an example where this argument stands. Secondly, real learning and development doesn’t happen in the classroom; information is passed on, officially, through that medium but science and history prove that through personal conceptualization of these abstract topics real learning can be accomplished. When we push information down our children's throats the only thing we teach them is to be effective crammers but stupid people


      • Well there are too many jackasses coming out of our schools. I say we do what South Korea does and have the children go to school and take study classes that run past midnight. 16 hour school days.


      • You must be a teacher defending your bread. The evidence is right there for everyone to see. 11,000 students with no passes. Whatever changes that were made to the education system based on your research clearly are not working. Derek Walcott, Sir Arthur Lewis and thousands of other St. Lucians took standardised tests and became well functioning members of society. Clearly, something worked then. To have secondary school students unable to read and write is an utter shame and a condemnation of the approach you are proposing. Stop making excuses for lazy unproductive teachers that are a drain on the public purse.


    • I am not in agreement with your assessment of the distractions the kids face today. We did not have gangs, drugs and the level of violence face today by kids in their schools. We did more physical activities which helped with our stress and anxiety levels. Kids going to some schools now is almost like walking a minefield, I truly feel sorry for some of these children. This is just my opinion, maybe some of you see it differently, please share your thoughts.


  7. Everyone out here blaming the children. What about the parents. When I went to secondary school my parent made sure they were involved making sure I do my work. But also the lack of mentors.we all get our education hide it and then criticize the youth when we should be their mentors because some of them have no role models


    • You can bring the donkey go the well but u can't force him to drink the water. The techers can do so much and no more . The student themselves are not interested in doing school work, some of them come to school to waste time. The parents need to monitor there kids some more and do not blame teachers for anything. Some of you need to visit some schools for even half of a day and see some of the challenges teachers have to keep up with up.


  8. Some of us imply that correlation is causality. A study needs to be conducted on the factors influencing the CSEC results. It is not only one variable. The common error is to finger point on one variable. Be cautious!


  9. There’s too much emphasis on secondary school students passing CXC. There should be more emphasis on the primary school. Reading and comprehension is all important. Vocabulary competence and understanding words is
    paramount. Students who know how to read and understand what they are reading and hearing will excell.


  10. There could be an error in some of the test papers exactly what happened in the UK few years ago and tougsands of students had to resit the exams it was partly due new new criteria the teachers had to learn in a short period of time and this had a massive impact on the students- so something to think about


  11. I fully understand that this result reflect the entire Caribbean. Coming back home, I am certain that St Lucians are included in the 11,000, these would be student who are victims of universal Secondary education. Why should a student with a below 20% score at the common entrance same, go to a secondary school. These student should be at a technical school where Maths and English subject is in the curriculum. If there is improvement in the performance of these students while in the Tech School, they can be transferred to a Secondary school. We need to revisit this.


    • I understand what you're saying, but you are still implying technical schools and students are 'lesser'. This is part of the problem. A stigma attached to vocational schooling. We need to step beyond that. These people aren't failures because of their scores. They're either being very badly educated, or they have different types of intelligence more suited to creative activities or physical endeavours. Our system simply needs to broaden its definition of intelligence, identify those talents and aptitudes accordingly and target other forms of education towards them.


      • Yes, there is definitely a stigma attached to technical & vocational education. Unless and until we realize that these people have an important part to play in our economic development then we would continue to be in the economic doldrum. Japan, Taiwan Singapore and South Korea pay a lot of attention to vocational education. We have many MSC, BA, BSC, MA and PHD's graduates in he region but we are still struggling. Their theories are not working. We need hands on solutions--people who can make and support industries.


      • Oh boy J.C you explained that so beautifully there's no need for any more of an explanation. That system we live in really isn't for us, they teach us that only education is important and will help you move up in life, which is totally incorrect an unacceptable. We humans need to understand, that we are all not designed to be scholars and excel in academics, we all have what's for us and our passions. Teach the youth to find their passion what really interest them and to peruse it, because lets face it we all are not made to be doctors lawyers and accountants, there are other means of earning a living through talent and skills. Stop the brain washing.


    • They need to do away with common entrance period. The historical facts behind the common entrance is bias and prejudicial so many lives has been ruined due to the fact they did not pass common entrance especially back in the days when there were little or no alternative if you failed. We just love to hold on to our slave masters ways.


  12. The children now are days not interested in their school work, Facebook instragrm, was app soctal media what a shame. Parents take control of your children, don't let them control us.


    • The children nowadays are too busy concerned with trying to simply live in a declining economy.If it weren't for the older generations messing everything up we wouldn't be busy having so many mental illnesses and physical problems.How about instead of blamin the youths look at the actual root of the problem.Prices of everything have gone up yet again and we could only imagine how high they're going to get in the coming of years.


      • That comment right there is the problem. You’re blaming someone else for this present problem. In fact there was more mental health issues in the past but it was kept a secret due to the stigma that was cast on the individual and their family. We need to look at ourselves and be a mentor to a child in the community. Have you given back to the school that taught you. I guess not. Prices of everything have increased all over the world. Remember your great grand mother paid two cents for a pound of sugar and her income was maybe one dollar. Grow up and be a positive change to the youth you are talking about.


  13. The teachers cannot put the education in the student brain they must want to make the effort cause the teacher alone cannot do it for them, kids nowadays is fashion, men ,women, party and drugs , tell me that is life


  14. LOL!!!! it right to happen to them. SEX, Snapchat, Instagram and followers in their ... LOL Lets not mention the Importance of going to fetes that has them in their stupid bikinis and stupid swell-headedness.

    The Bakery shouldnt accept yall applications LOL!


  15. the standards of teachers are not getting better. for some, the type of students put them off the profession. for others, they not willing to invest in themselves and the students. and also the problem is at the top. the government dont invest in teachers. and even if there are good ones that can benefit from training. its who know who that will get some assistance. there are situations where A levels are being taught in Maths and science by incompetent people. and it is affecting the students performance in these subjects. some may not even have a full time degree in the subjects and did online courses. if it is that not enough st lucians are qualified to teach those two subjects, then recruit elsewhere. the minimum degree to be able to teach should be a BSc. in the subject and it should be that the person actually physically attended the university for that basic degree.


    • No one seems to be addressing the out of school factors that impact negatively on student performance. we are all paying lip service to the problems of our society that negatively impact on stuydents. the courts, ministry, carbinet of ministers, elected politicians all display actions that are not wanted by the society. there are too many people in tgis country who believe that they are above the law.


      • Of course you would have to go there !! I read thru the lines; read thru these. The lack of government "vision" and underfunding by divesting of education funds for those on the lower end of socioeconomic ladder has contributed to this high failure for students who have taken the CXC


    • I fail to understand the reference to the quality of teachers in St Lucia. The article reports results for the entire Caribbean.


    • you're basically arguing that teachers alone shape the minds of students which is absolutely ridiculous..every student spends more time at home than at school, what roles are their parents playing to reinforce what their children learn at school at home? do they revise with them? do they ensure that assignments are completed? do they assist them with further examples? do they provide them with all the necessary resources required for schooling? A child's education shouldn't solely lie on a teachers effort!


      • I tend to agree with you regarding parental involvement. However, there are some parents who ate victims of a vicious circle and cannot provide the necessary support to their children. The schools must therefore be the one to level the playing field so to speak in these situations. St. Lucia has a huge literacy issue that has been swept under the rug for too long. There are too many children leaving primary school unable to read and write. These kids are then channelled to "certain" secondary schools where teachers are untrained to deal with the problem. Ask relevant authorities how many children obtained zero on the Common Entrance Exam this year. This is the source of the problem.


        • And what about the curriculum officers who are paid to go around school to ensure that the curriculums are well delivered in schools? Are they aware that some teachers are teaching wrong content? What about the Minister of education is she closely monitoring what is happening at preschools and infant schools? These are just some questions i have .This result should concern everybody.


  16. They need to pay more attention to their school work. Some more interested in fashion, party, boyfriends, girlfriend's and doing competition.


    • I quite agree I see some blaming them parents really one can bring the horse to the water but can't force to drink and this what happens. Also technology took over these students don't even know their time tables I remember in my days we learnt one to twelve and twelve to one. What a shame and to see four is a pass


  17. Put Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat on the curriculum and you will see how many distinctions you will get.


    • Far from getting distinctions, all these media services function by algorithms are very successful because they work by addiction and instant gratification. They will lead our children to become lab rats’ hooked on sounds of pings and clicks, and not thinking, creative beings pursuing their own agendas.


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