Friday, August 17, 2012

Cause for alarm....

The results of the Regional school-leaver exams for 15/16yr old came out this past week- this Blog was delayed as I tried to find out the pass-rate for Trinidad and Barbados in English A and Mathematics to use as a comparison-- no joy on the CXC Website and was informed by an Education Officer here that they would not release that to me - a non-person, even if I emailed them.
So the cause for alarm is: the pass-rate for Guyana has dropped in English A from 60.8% last year to 37.02% this year - that is--  passes in Grades1-3; and in Mathematics from 30.4% last year to 29.69%.

A similar drop occurred in Jamaica in these two subjects and in the absence of Data from Barbados and Trinidad where one would have expected better pass-rates, one can only surmise that there was a similar decline as the overall pass in the Region in English A was 47% achieving Grades 1-3! One also assumes the pass-rate for Mathematics is so embarrassingly low that they are skirting around the issue and not publishing...?

This does not bode well for the future if 16yr-olds cannot cope with a syllabus revision which placed more emphasis on reading and comprehension as this would impact every other 'subject' - so in fact although the overall pass-rate in Information technology improved to over 80% getting Grades 1-3, it was noted that  many students resorted to unnecessarily re-writing the question demonstrating poor examination technique! I remember failing or getting substantially poor marks because I was too embarrassed to ask what 'neonate' meant in my first-year Biology paper in university so fudged around the question: so I can totally sympathise with students being confronted with words or phrases they may not have encountered as Reading for pleasure is a declining pat-time and I have heard the younger folk say they only read if they have to - ie for school work.

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