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Dutch Caribbean islands consider CXC model


Reynolds Oleana and Elaine Marchena sharing a light moment.

The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) model is being considered by the Dutch Caribbean islands of Saint Eustatius and Saba, which are also seeking to change the language of instruction in learning institutions to English.

An 11-member delegation from both islands was in Barbados on Thursday and Friday as part of a sensitization programme.

The islands are seeking to, as of August 2015, introduce English as the language of instruction for the first year of secondary education in Saint Eustatius.

Other models have also been looked at, but officials say the one offered by the Barbados-based examination body was the most feasible.

Reynolds Oleana, deputy head of RCN/OCW, Dutch Ministry of Education in the Caribbean Netherlands, told Barbados TODAY that they were examining the Barbados model of CAPE, CSEC, CXC and CCSLC examinations.

They will seek to start with CCSLC this year among first, second and third year students, and introduce the CSEC fully in August 2018.

Assessments will be conducted to determine if the new systems are working.

Oleana said when it came to technical vocational studies, they were also looking at the possibility of copying the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) model. But that will be done after a trip to Jamaica to examine and learn more about the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) model as another option.

The island of Saba already uses English as the language of instruction in its secondary school, but they are seeking to implement the new examinations and syllabuses.

The other island, which is also a part of the Caribbean Netherlands system and uses the same Education Law, is Bonaire.

“What we see now is that the system that they use in Barbados for the academic and vocational scheme is possible to implement in our education system. But we have to discuss what is important because it is for the three small islands. It means we have to adjust some things,” noted Oleana.

With a population of close to 4,000, St Eustatius has one school for secondary education and four primary schools. Saba has a population of about 2,000 people and one primary and one secondary school.

Communication advisor in the ministry for the Dutch Caribbean islands Elaine Marchena said the change has already started, and while teachers, students and parents were a little apprehensive at first, they are fully on board.

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