The overall performance of this year’s Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations is comparable with last year’s, even though a greater number of students sat the exams this year compared with last year says Chief Education Officer Harilall Seecharran.
In a preliminary assessment, he said, candidates recorded a total of 67.78 passes in Grades I, II, and III of the subject entries compared with 67 percent in 2016.
There were also 3,257 more Grade I passes compared with last year.
“We had an increase in the number of subject entries, and we had students passing more subjects overall,” he said.
At a press conference held today at the Ministry of Education head office, Port of Spain, Seecharan said, a total of 21,533 candidates wrote the CSEC exams. They included candidates from government schools, government-assisted, private schools, and private candidates.
A total of 33 subjects with a combined total of 109,273 subject entries were written. This represented an increase from 2016 which had 106,016 subject entries.
Overall the pass rate for 16 subjects were better than last year, Seecharan said, with over 70 percent passes in 22 of the 33 subjects.
The subjects include additional mathematics, agricultural science (single and double awards), biology, economics, electronic document preparation and management, English A, family resource and management, food and nutrition, French, information technology, industrial technology, music, office administration, physical education and sport, principles of accounts, principles of business, religious education, technical drawing and theatre arts.
In 2017, a total of 57.92 percent or 7,698 candidates obtained five subjects and more compared with 58.1 percent or 7,380 candidates in 2016.
Obtaining five subjects and more in mathematics and English A were 52.2 percent or 6,833 candidates compared with 53.7 percent or 6,684 candidates for last year.
Seecharan said, there was a small increase in English A with 73.03 percent passes this year compared with 72 percent past year. In mathematics, the percentage pass was 53 percent compared with 54 percent last year.
In the comparisons, Seecharan said, “Two things stood out. We had more students entering more subjects. We had more grade ones this year compared to 2016.”
On not naming the top students in both CSEC and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) as yet, Seecharan said, they cannot be named until the period of review, when students can challenged their grades, has expired.
In terms of scholarships to be awarded based on the CAPE results, he said, the Caribbean Examinations Council will have to merge data from units one and two to determine the top students. This will also be determined after the period of review.
The ministry, he said, expects that to be ready sometime during the second or third week of September.
“We will then be in a position to identify the top candidates in CSEC and CAPE,” he said.