Decline in CXC numbers

The Barbados-based Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) is reporting a decline in the number of candidates who registered for major exams in the 2016-2017 academic year.

Delivering the assessment at the CXC’s headquarters this morning, Director of Operations Stephen Savoury announced there was a one to two per cent drop in the number of entries in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Exam (CAPE), even though registration was up for courses in the Caribbean Vocational Qualification and the Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence.

CXC Registrar Glenroy Cumberbatch told reporters he was aware of falling population rates across the region, however only about 21 per cent of candidates eligible to write CSEC exam were doing so.

“So whether that number declines overall, the percentage is low. So if we can get at least 50 per cent of those people who are eligible to write CSEC, write it, it should not make too much of a difference to CXC.

“The other area is that even though the candidate numbers have gone down, from what I’ve seen, the subject entries are going up. So it means that instead of a candidate doing three subjects on average, they’re doing four on average now. And in order to get into jobs, get into universities and so on, there should be about five.  So there is still room for growth within the falling populations,” Cumberbatch said.

Meanwhile the CXC has recorded a slight improvement in this year’s CAPE examination results, compared to last year’s figures.

Cumberbatch said 92 per cent of the candidates received grades one to five this year, compared to last year’s figure of 90 per cent.

According to the registrar, new subjects were introduced in the last academic year, including Financial Services, in which 71 per cent of candidates received grades one to five, and Green Engineering which had a 78 per cent pass rate.

The examination results were delivered to the Ministries of Education around the region today, and will be released to the students on Friday.

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