New model needed
The Barbados-based Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) has ruled out increasing exam fees every year to finance its operations.
Speaking yesterday at the official release of results for the May/June 2015 examinations, Registrar Glenroy Cumberbach contented that the regional body had no choice but to look for alternative ways of funding to remain viable.
“We cannot just rely on government for financing and cannot just increase our fees every year or every two years. We have to find other ways of doing business. So we have to strengthen our business model; we have to secure our financial stability and we have to enhance our stakeholders’ experience,” he added.
“How do we strengthen our business model? One of the things that we are going towards is professional exams for them,” the Registrar revealed.
Cumberbatch said CXC has already been contracted by the Regional Nursing Council to set their exams, and they are in discussion with other medical and professional bodies to offer the same service.
“We are working with a country to produce their examinations for the licensing of their teachers. So we continue that process in trying to build capacity and to build our brand across the professional examinations spectrum.”
Cumberbatch also disclosed that individuals who are no longer at school, but do not have CXC qualifications, are also being targeted.
“When you look at our numbers, a significant portion of our numbers is out of school.
At one stage the numbers used to be dominated by in-school candidates. Now upwards of 60 percent of the persons who are registered for examinations are out of school. They are not in any institutions preparing for examinations. So we have to cater to them more,” the educator stated.
He said it was not just offer an examination, but the council had to provide learning and other materials to give the candidates a better chance to succeed.
He disclosed that the council was also seeking to increase its income stream by entering into contractual arrangements with countries in the non-English speaking Caribbean.
“We have already entered into St Maarten and Saba. We are focusing now in improving [services] in Suriname and also in St Eustatius. So St Eustatius for the first time in 2015 will be going to an English curriculum and CXC will be the examining body to certify the students in those programmes.”
Cumberbatch said too, that CXC will be reaching out to persons in the diaspora to take subjects that interest them. (EJ)