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Nov 3, 2016

CSEC Results Were Good; Local Examiners Want to See Even Better

In Tuesday’s newscast, we showed you some of the top performers in the 2016 CXC’s CSEC and CAPE examinations. But, what about Belize’s overall performance? According to the CXC local registrar Juan Vargas, the good news is that overall Belize performed well and our students are competitive. In English ‘A,’ Belize is performing above the region. But while there have been incremental improvements in Math, we are still at around fifty percentile. Vargas noted that Math continues to be a challenge regionally and this year the CXC has decided to tackle it. He breaks down the numbers for us:

 

Juan Vargas

Juan Vargas, CXC Local Registrar

“If we make a comparison, the figures with ofnot only Belize, but with the region to see not only how are doing compared to the other nineteen territories who also sit the examinations. If we look at the CSEC subject, which is at the high school level, we have a suite of thirty five subjects. CXC offers a suite of thirty five subjects and we are doing thirty three of them. And if we look at the individual subjects we will see that we are doing good. We are competitive. Now if we hone in on the subjects that we have more students sitting; the English A and Mathematics, we will see that for English A we have for this year seventy point nine-three percent acceptable grade; which is grade one, two, three by CXC standards. So, those represent the grades that students get in terms of one, two, three compared to the graded entries. If we look at the region, the region has sixty-seven point four-eight; that means that we are about three percent above the region. If we look at last year’s English, we had sixty-eight point zero-eight and the region had sixty percent. The year before we had seventy-three point zero-five and the region had fifty-nine point zero-nine. So, if we look at English we are doing well. Now, if we look at mathematics which also has a large number of entries; so Mathematics for this year, we have fifty point six-one percent acceptable marks compared to the region which is forty-four. Last year we had sixty-seven percent compared to the region fifty-six and the year before we had seventy-three point zero-five and compared to the region which was forty-nine.”

 

Reporter

“Mathematics specifically, you are at fifty percent. Yes, you are comparing us to the region but at the end of the day it is not optimal. It is not the grade you want to see, so what does Belize do as a country to raise that?”

 

Juan Vargas

“Yes, that has been a challenge since the implementation of this syllabus in 2010 because every five years we should have a revision of the syllabuses. It has always been a challenge with mathematics not only at the secondary school level, but also the primary school level; so transition from the primary school to the high school level. We have noted this problem. In country, we try to address it by having our continuous professional development program every year. And as need arises, during the school year, we also have workshops to address that. If we do not have the person in house to guide us, then we bring the CARICOM specialist from Jamaica to assist us. We have a very good knowledge base in terms of what is the need. It is not only a challenge that we have encountered nationally, but also regionally. So, CXC has decided that they are going to look at it from a regional basis and they have brought in a team of experts from all the different regions to get together and go through this and brainstorm to see how and what we can do to improve this area.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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