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The Caribbean Examiner Vol. 17 No. 1 May-2018

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A Publication of the Caribbean Examinations Council

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The Caribbean Examiner Vol. 17 No. 1 May-2018

  1. 1. 4 MAY 2018 www.cxc.org IN THIS ISSUE THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER is a publication of the CARIBBEAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL © (CXC) EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Mr Glenroy Cumberbatch • EDITOR: Mr Cleveland Sam LINE EDITORS: Dr Sandra Robinson, Dr Victor Simpson and Dr Jason Siegel PLEASE SEND YOUR COMMENTS TO: The Caribbean Examiner, CXC, Prince Road and Pine Plantation Road, St Michael, Barbados e: CXCezo@CXC.org • w: www.CXC.org • ISSN 2071-9019 ABOUT THIS ISSUE As the regional institution charged with offering examinations to Caribbean candidates, CXC has contributed more than examinations certificate. This issue looks at some of CXC’s contribution to the Caribbean. As is customary with the May issue, it chronicles the experience of the Regional Top Awardees, this time in St Kitts and Nevis. Former CAPE double-awardee, Mandela Patrick graces the cover as he is the 2018 Commonwealth Caribbean Rhodes Scholar. CXC’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE REGION 5 CXC’s Contribution to Caribbean Economic Development Ronald James 8 CXC’s Contribution to Teacher Development Linda Stewart-Doman 12 VOX POP CXC NEWS 14 Revitalize History - Task Force Recommends Professor Allan Cobley 16 Meet Multifarious Mandela 2018 Caribbean Rhodes Scholar 19 ACCA and CXC Sign MOU 20 8 Accountancy Myths 22 Absenteeism a Cause for Concern CXC NEWS 24 St Kitts and Nevis “Honoured” to Host Council 28 Sir Hilary to Top Awardees’ – “Fulfil Your Potential” Cleveland Sam 31 Top Awardees’ St Kitts and Nevis Experience 36 Vote of Thanks Michael Bhopaul 38 Leadership Potential Recognition Programme Roslyn Harewood-Blackman 40 New Staff Looking Forward to their CXC Journey 31 12
  2. 2. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER www.cxc.org MAY 2018 5 Human capital – the total stock of knowledge, skills, competencies, and innovative abilities possessed by the population – has been empirically proven to be a significant determinant of economic output. The best method of developing human capital is formal education, starting with an initial level of education, continuing with various forms of post-primary education and–secondary and post-secondary education. A better-educated labour force has a positive and significant impact on economic growth. While empirical research has determined that investment in early childhood development has the largest impact on long-term economic growth, primary and secondary education outcomes have been identified to be most important for short to medium term productivity growth. Educated workers raise national income directly because schooling raises their marginal productivity. They have been known to positively impact national income indirectly as well, by increasing the marginal productivity of physical capital and of other workers. Changing economic circumstances through education is even more relevant in a region where poverty levels are in some instances still uncomfortably high; average unemployment rate lingers in double-digits and youth unemployment, in particular, are relatively high. Therefore, the mantra that education is the key to success takes on added relevance within the Caribbean area, considering that wealth and opportunities are not abundant. Education was and remains a critical means of social mobility for the vast majority of Caribbean citizens, with parents seeking to get a better education for their children so that they would be eligible for respectable jobs. With its positive impact on economic output, education increases employment opportunities, and earnings, especially in modern knowledge-based economies. As CXC’s Contribution to CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT By Ronald James such, with improved levels of educational attainment raises the potential for economic prosperity. An educated workforce is crucial to the development of the region in an era when a vibrant knowledge economy is the success indicator for countries worldwide. CXC’s Role CXC is the leading institution which provides region-wide assessments of standardized educational attainment levels at the primary, secondary and post-secondary levels. By virtue of this responsibility, the institution’s role in the development of the region’s human capital has been significant and by extension it’s contribution to economic development is considerable. The CXC exam replaced the British- administered GCE O’ Levels in the early 1980s, and the Council has so far proven that exams are of sufficiently high quality. CXC offered its first examinations for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC)in1979infivesubjects.Subsequentto CSEC, CXC has introduced a comprehensive suiteofqualificationstomeettheneedsofthe region: Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment™ (CPEA™), Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence® (CCSLC®), Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ), Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination® (CAPE®) and the CXC® Associate Degree (CXC®- AD). As such, purely from a supply-side perspective, CXC has added to the region’s human capital stock. It is worth bearing in mind that though educational outcomes based on these examinations have at times been below expectations, practically every member of the Caribbean active labour force, whether public or private, has benefited from some form of assessment from CXC. Available data for the decade up to 2016 shows that 603,967 Caribbean students registered for five or more Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC), the terminal examination for secondary education and the basic requirement for entry into the job market or for the pursuit of tertiary education. Of that number, 315,729, or 52 per cent gained acceptable passes in five or more subjects. When the criteria are narrowed further to those passing five or more subjects, including Mathematics and English, the rate falls to roughly 32 per cent. This outturn reveals weaknesses in the average Caribbean student’s performance in these two subjects (major prerequisites for entry to almost all tertiary institutions), which would likely increase their productive capacity. Failure to achieve success at this level thus denies students the opportunity to graduate from an institution of tertiary education. In fact, data shows that on average only roughly 2.8 per cent of students who register for five or more subjects ultimately move on to tertiary-level education. The productivity of these students as workers in the labour force in their respective countries, which must strive to be competitive with the rest of the world, is often impaired. Not only are their productivity and competitiveness levels compromised, but their mobility is also affected. Within the context of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME), free movement of labour provisions are available, applicable to university graduates. But for students who do not make it through to tertiary levels, there is thus limited pathways for them to exploit the opportunities presented by these provisions. But the story is not all dire. Efforts made by CXC and regional governments to improve the performance of students in these critical subject areas have begun to pay dividend quality outcomes are on the rise. For example, in 2007 the region averaged 40 per cent pass rate in Mathematics and 62 per cent in English Language; however, by 2016, the pass rate in those two same subjects had improved CXC’s Contribution to the Region
  3. 3. 6 MAY 2018 www.cxc.org Ronald James is currently an Economist at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Barbados; where his core duties include monitoring and reporting on macroeconomic performances and prospects for the Bank’s Borrowing Member Countries. Prior to joining CDB, Ronald worked for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB). considerably, rising to 53 per cent and 74 per cent respectively. Also on the quality side, the situation with educational achievement at the post- secondary level looks more positive. Performance in the 2016 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) remained consistent with that of the past five years. Approximately 90 per cent of the entries achieved Grades I–V, which are the acceptable grades at CAPE. A much higher proportion of students with CAPE passes goes on to tertiary level education; potentially increasing their productivity over time. The global economic environment is highly competitive and depends critically on knowledge, learning and innovation. The numerous advances underway both globally and regionally have demanded a differently educated and trained workforce. In the Caribbean, CXC has responded to these demands by introducing new learning and training courses consistent with such demands, thus ensuring that the Caribbean students benefit from some exposure to the knowledge-base for participation in the 21st century economy. The addition of “New Generation Subjects” such as Information Technology, Entrepreneurship, Tourism, Green Engineering and Financial Services Studies is indicative of the institution’s responsiveness to current trends and ensuring that the region’s human capital stock is ready for the global economic paradigm shift. One important criticism often levelled at the region’s education system is that the secondary education syllabus was biased to the requirements for matriculation in higher education rather than on employability of graduates and productivity. This lead to considerable skills gaps and a protraction of structural and youth unemployment situations. CXC has attempted to address this concern in several ways. For example, in 2017, CXC revamped the CSEC business subjects’ syllabuses to bring these subjects’ content, skills, activities and assessment strategies closer to those of the globally recognized Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA) certification. Moreover,asfarbackas1990,CARICOM Governments recognized the need to train and certify their national workforce to global standards and signed a CARICOM Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Strategy in support of this. Empirical research also indicated that the demand for certain skill sets, particularly technical workers, in the Caribbean were not matched by the available supply or of the appropriate quality. The introduction of the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) back in 2017 was intended to help bridge the skills gap, increase productivity and reduce unemployment especially among the youth. CXC itself is moving in the direction of embracing modern technology in its delivery of examinations. In the 2017 January sitting of the CSEC, CXC rolled out its live e-tests which were taken by 500 candidates from seven territories. The use of this platform could have positive impact on productivity in a demonstrable way. But beyond the role it plays in matriculating, accrediting and certifying students at the levels outlined hitherto, CXC has made other contributions to developing the region’s human capital stock. The institution provides expert consultation in critical areas of the education value chain, for example, syllabus and curriculum development, measurement and evaluation, and teacher training. All of these represent considerable value added to the region’s education output. CXC also makes a valuable contribution to the stock of Caribbean literature through its publication of Caribbean related materials in a range of subject areas. Arguably, therefore, through its contribution to the critical element of human capital development, to developing the region’s workforce, CXC’s value added to the Caribbean economic output has been significant. Despite the challenges of unemployment, many youngsters matriculated by CXC with passes in CSEC subjects have become productive members of our society. They are the teachers, police officers, public servants and private sector workers making positive contributions to the region’s economies. And while a quantification of their contribution would require deeper analysis, the argument that anecdotally their collective value added is indeed compelling. In spite of the measurable successes that CXC has achieved in its over 40 years of existence, the nature of global evolution dictates that the institution will have to continue to be sufficiently nimble and flexible to adapt to a changing world. Efforts to align the secondary and post-secondary outcomes with the labour market’s demand for skills need to be stepped up to ensure that school leavers with CSEC certification can integrate well into the workforce. Innovations in the offerings of subject matters, both in terms of new additions and modernizing old offerings, consistent with the growing and evolving demand of the regional and global market would have to continue. These continue to be necessary if the institution is to remain relevant and continue to make its contribution to developing productive Caribbean citizens. CXC’s Contribution to the Region Education was and remains a critical means of social mobility for the vast majority of Caribbean citizens, with parents seeking to get a better education for their children so that they would be eligible for respectable jobs.
  4. 4. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER www.cxc.org MAY 2018 7
  5. 5. CXC’s Contribution to the Region By Linda Stewart-Doman CXC’s Contribution to TEACHER DEVELOPMENT
  6. 6. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER www.cxc.org MAY 2018 9 CXC’s Contribution to Teacher Development From its inception, the Caribbean Examinations Council has demonstrated an unshakeable commitment to teacher training and teacher development in the region. The Right Excellent Errol Barrow, Prime Minister of Barbados in his address to the inaugural meeting of the Council in January 1973, confirmed the need for this focus when he explicitly stated that: “The success of the Caribbean Examinations Council will depend largely on the professional skills and the industry and the integrity of the teaching profession of the area.” (The Caribbean Examiner, 2013). The Council has employed a number of programme implementation support and quality assurance mechanisms and strategies that are convergent with its suite of products and services. Some of the strategies employed include but are not limited to teacher training workshops, teacher orientation workshops, syllabus development and maintenance, online tutor -led sessions and provision of teaching/ learning resources on free online platforms. TEACHER DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES Teacher Orientation and Teacher Training Workshops CXC convenes Teacher Orientation and Teacher Training workshops using a blended modality to apprise teachers of revisions, amendments or introduction of new products and services. This is to ensure that there is a common understanding of the requirements of the syllabuses, especially as it relates to the teaching, learning and assessment processes. These workshops are usually held in six host territories, namely Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize and Guyana. The methodology applied for these two workshop models is one of a cascading approach in teachers who are trained are expected to act as lead trainers/facilitators in their respective territories. The Council has also played a pivotal role in teacher training support in other aspects of its work, either at the request of participating territories or in response to particular needs identified by the Council.
  7. 7. 10 MAY 2018 www.cxc.org CXC® e-LEARNING STRATEGIES Digital Content/E-Learning Resources and Webinars Given the advancements in technology and the projections regarding the direction in which, region and the world are trending in this digital age, the Council has responded to the accompanying need to engage our stakeholders using several modalities. CXC® has collaborated with Notesmaster®, an Open Education Resource (OER) platform supporting the successful integration of technology in instruction, by providing learning resources and digital toolkits for its teachers and other stakeholders. Since 2012, over 11,000 teachers have benefitted from membership in Virtual Subject Associations (VSA) on the Notesmaster platform with CXC®’s syllabus toolkits being some of the most sought after learning resources on the Internet. It has contributed to increased flexibility and accessibility as well as personalization of learning for all students. Furthermore it has provided equal and equitable access to high quality learning support resources and has supported the implementation of CXC®’s products, and networked learning, it has enabled the organization to remain relevant and current through, among other things, providing access to high quality resource support for delivery of the products of the Council, while creating learning communities and facilitating collaborative knowledge creation and knowledge sharing across the region. Since 2016, webinars have been introduced to the category of implemented strategies for teacher development and teacher training. Through this medium, the Council has facilitated interactivity in real time and the sharing of audio documents and files relating to its catalogue of products and services. Webinars have increased the productive value of facilitation to teachers across the territories, and have significantly leveraged the capability and resources of the Council through the provision of greater access and reach to its stakeholders. Linda Stewart-Doman is Manager, Syllabus and Curriculum Division at CXC’s Western Zone Office, Jamaica. Value and Impact Data for the last five-year period (2012–2017) revealed that in excess of 26,000 teachers across 19 territories have participated in teacher training and orientation workshops and other developmental activities. The infusion of technology has significantly provided an even greater accessible and interactive platform, an exploration of best and next practices and has validated the synthesis of learning for our educational practitioners. Survey data has indicated that teachers have demonstrated improved competence in their pedagogical strategies and the associated principles of assessment. The workshops have provided the platform for regional teacher engagement and networking, collaborative pursuits and most importantly a reflective community of practice. The Council has reaped significant gains in quality learner outcomes and standards of academic achievement. This has also been evident in certification outcomes and the growth and continuous improvement in the performance of students within the region. The following statements are indicative of the positive impact the teacher development strategies have had on our participants. “The workshop has helped me to better understand what is required of me.” “The facilitators make an effort to ensure that we understand and willingly answered our questions.” “I think it was very good.” “The attitude of the facilitator was very professional and encouraged me to participate in the various activities.” “The webinars were meaningful and provided greater insights into the syllabus requirements and my role as a teacher.” “We found the workshop to be encouraging and we are grateful for the exposure.” “We are grateful for the provision of resources on Notesmaster.” (CXC® workshop evaluation) Futuristic Directions As the Council embarks on its futuristic endeavours, there is a gravitational pull towardsthesustainedefficacyandincreased productive value of teacher development across the Caribbean. Consequently, the Council is in the process of developing a Learning Hub, a web-based facility that will provide stakeholders with a single access point to teaching, learning and assessment resources. The Learning Hub will allow access to social spaces for sharing resources, communication and collaboration. The Council will also be focusing its efforts on the virtual facilitation of teacher orientation and training to enable greater participation and exposure of teachers to varying content knowledge, practice and methodologies. These two imperatives are a part of the Council’s strategic thrust to institutionalize virtual learning communities for teachers and the consistency of purpose towards greater achievement in student outcomes. The Caribbean Examinations Council through its innovative and progressive pedagogical influences has played a crucial role in the systematic and transformative development of teachers within the Caribbean. The council has continued its inimitable quest to define teacher training and development as an enabling force in the region’s social architecture for sustained economic growth, competitiveness and harnessing of formidable human resource competence. CXC’s Contribution to the Region
  8. 8. 12 MAY 2018 www.cxc.org STAN BISHOP Journalist, St Lucia For more than four decades, CXC has demonstrated an almost limitless ability to provide the region with a comprehensive system of curricula and examinations. This has resulted in Caribbean students being able to become qualified in various academic and vocational subjects that are accepted and in the region but elsewhere. With the advent of increased emphasis on information technology, CXC has adapted by offering online examinations as well as creating the avenue whereby examination papers can be graded online. This speaks to the growth of an organization that is not only focused on organizational and developmental change, but actually makes it practical. These are some of the hallmarks of a regional institution that has even attracted the envy of international educational institutions that have adopted/ adapted the CXC model. LOIS OLIVER Factory Manager, Barbados The role the CXC has played within the Caribbean region should not and cannot be restricted to strictly an academic achievement. The implementation of an integrated and standardized curriculum and academic assessment, which have relevance to the Region is in itself remarkable. The extra-regional recognition of the robust nature of the CXC curricula speaks well to the abilities of those students who undertake and are successful at achieving passes in the various subject areas. That there is scope for review and innovative adjustments is extremely positive. This feedback mechanism ensures that students are being adequately prepared to meet the needs and emerging requirements of a constantly evolving work space, both intra and extra regionally. The benefits derived from this body go beyond the immediately obvious. The evolution of important and lasting networks of teachers and instructors throughout the Region has blossomed since its creation, where best practices can be shared, challenges addressed and adjustments to teaching styles be made as needed. Several teachers have expanded their scope by sharing their expertise in subject texts, study guides and other instruction materials, which are reflective of our Caribbean experience, and are of more relevance to the students. Students are equipped to undertake further courses of study to expand their eventual earning potential and to transform themselves and the Region. While it would be easy to classify the CXC’s role as one- dimensional, economic, cultural, social, innovative dynamics are all contributing factors to its impact on the Region. CXC’s Contribution to the Region VOX POP CXC asked fans on its Facebook page to comment on what they view as the institution’s contribution to the region. Here are some responses:
  9. 9. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER www.cxc.org MAY 2018 13 CXC FACEBOOK VOX POP After seeing the Facebook post, former CXC resource person from St Vincent and the Grenadines, Flavia Howard went about soliciting views from persons she knew were connected to CXC and sent them to us. Thank you Flavia. The Caribbean Examiner shares those views with you here; FLAVIA HOWARD Former Examiner – French; Education Officer, Modern Languages - Ministry of Education- St Vincent and the Grenadines “The annual marking exercise in different territories afforded interaction with examiners/teachers, mainly those who were currently teaching or were past teachers of the relevant subjects marked. Examiners were able to discuss pertinent issues with exchanges, which presented a common assessment of the teaching- learning environment, on aspects that may be deemed as best practices. Teachers were thus better equipped to conduct training sessions in schools, in their home territories. The different levels of examinations- CSEC, CAPE, TVET and recently, CPEA have all positively impacted on the region’s educational system.” JOYE BROWNE former table leader French (1990’s) and former Headmistress, Girls’ High School “The SBA component was a trendsetter, as other Examination Boards adopted this component. There was a move to home-grown curriculum, adapted to regional and local needs. The marking exercise allowed for face- to-face interaction with many teachers. One gained an insight into requirements of CXC’s examinations. Teachers were better able to guide students/ prospective candidates on their weak and strong points, based on feedback from the annual reports.” LOUANNE GILCHRIST former Examiner; Chief Education Officer, Ministry of Education, SVG; current Ambassador to the USA / Permanent Representative to the OAS “CXC has had a positive impact in the following areas: curriculum responsive to students’ needs, personal, national, regional, and international relevance. Teachers have been involved in all stages of the processes, from syllabus development, examinations, marking and analysis, and this has benefited students.” ANDREA BOWMAN former Examiner-English; former Headmistress, Girls’ High School, and former member of Council “Having had the privilege of serving on CSEC’s English Panel for a number of years, I was able to contribute to CXC’s vision of promoting Literatures which empower, enlighten and validate our Caribbean heritage. In addition to this, my stint on the Council allows me to vouch for its dedication to presenting all our students with stimulus material which promotes analysis and critical thinking that would ultimately lead to an authentic Caribbean creativity.” DENISE WESTFIELD former Regional Top Awardee - Best Short Story, 2008 “I believe that the CXC/CSEC Board provides students of the Caribbean with invaluable opportunities for self-improvement. The CXC/CSEC scholarships are especially necessary because they give young people a chance to further their education, when they otherwise might not have been able to do so. I was lucky enough to obtain such a scholarship. Without that gift, I have no idea where I might have been at this point in my life. For that I am eternally grateful, and pray that many more persons can benefit from the CXC/ CSEC scholarships.” PAULINE STANFORD Ministry of Education, Guyana What the CXC has done, perhaps above everything else, is to contextualize Caribbean education, to set it within a framework that lends a socio- cultural relevance to Caribbean education. CXC challenged and is in the process of removing, what, hitherto had been the embedded notion among Caribbean people that the critical reference points in our education system – our text books, our teaching methods, the references and examples that we used, the stories that we told and the heroes that we idolized – were the sum total of what mattered insofar as our education was concerned. Once CXC took centre stage it was not so much that that historical framework that had shaped the teaching and learning experience was now been left behind. The new reality was, however, that what had gone before was now compelled to share our education space with those other, more relevant socio-cultural realities that had been overlooked, and, ignored, for all those years. What that meant was that our education system was now being shaped more realistically by who we are, where we had come from and the goals to which we aspire. “What the CXC has done, perhaps above everything else, is to contextualize Caribbean education, to set it within a framework that lends a socio-cultural relevance to Caribbean education.” PAULINE STANFORD Ministry of Education, Guyana
  10. 10. 14 MAY 2018 www.cxc.org NEWS At the annual meeting of the Caribbean Examinations Council in December 2016 it was decided to establish a Task Force to consider the reasons for the decline in entries in Caribbean History at CSEC and CAPE levels, and to make recommendations on how the decline might be reversed. The concern of the Council was that a decline in historical literacy among the youth of our region is having a negative effect on the fabric of our societies, and could – if allowed to continue – undermine more than forty years of effort by CXC to produce empowered citizens and promote nation building in the Caribbean. The Task Force established under my chairmanship held its first meeting in June 2017. The ten-strong membership included experienced history teachers at secondary and tertiary level, persons with extensive experience as history curriculum developers and Examiners with CXC, as well as representatives drawn from the Caribbean Association of Principals of Secondary Schools, the Caribbean Union of Teachers, Tertiary Institutions and a Permanent Secretary from an Education Ministry. The team encompassed representation from eight different member countries of CXC. Our first task was to collect data on the current situation to provide some context for our report. We examined statistical data provided by CXC on subject entries for Caribbean History at CSEC level for the last five years. This showed a decline from over 12,000 in 2013 to under 10,000 in 2017, or a drop of over 17 per cent. Over the same period the entries for History CAPE Units 1 and 2 fell from over 3,000 to under 2,000 – a decline of over 41 per cent. While reliable data is not available for earlier years, anecdotal evidence suggests that on average, entries for History have been in decline since the 1990s. Another worrying trend to emerge from the data provided by CXC concerns the grades achieved in CAPE History. Over the past five years only 0.69 per cent of students sitting CAPE Unit 1 had achieved a Grade 1. The ratio of Grade 1’s was better for Unit 2, at 1.92 per cent, but for both Units combined the ratio stood at just 1.21 per cent. Analysis of student performance for the entire cohort over the last three years (2015–2017) indicated that students with failing grades at CAPE History Unit 1 (grades VI and VII) ranged from a high of 28.51 per cent of the total in 2015 to a low of 18.18 per cent in 2016, while the comparable percentages for failing grades at CAPE Unit 2 were a high of 17.17 in 2015 and a low of 11.52 in 2017. The analysis indicated that the grade profile for both CAPE History Units showed a preponderance of students in the lower grade bands and compared unfavourably with student performance in most other CAPE subjects offered by CXC. At CSEC level, the performance in History during the period under review was broadly comparable with other subjects for the passing grades (I –III) at about 65 per cent of the total, although the proportion achieving Grade I passes (5–10 per cent) appeared lower than for most other subjects. To augment the statistical data, and to gather views on CSEC and CAPE History, the Task Force developed two questionnaires – one for students and one for teachers In a world and era in which lies are proclaimed as though they are the truth by the rich and powerful, how can we remain true to ourselves in this region if we do not know who we are? Revitalize History - Task Force Recommends By Professor Allan Cobley – which were sent out with the help of CXC to schools across the region. We received responses from over 40 schools in eleven countries, including almost two hundred from students and 70 from teachers. Together they provided fascinating insights into the state of History and attitudes towards the subject in Caribbean schools, highlighting some of the challenges and providing many suggestions for improvement. We have made extensive use of these insights in preparing our report. TheTaskForcealsosoughtinternational perspectives on the teaching of History by reviewing articles and websites available on the internet. This revealed that many of the challenges being faced by the subject in the Caribbean, including declining enrolments, can be seen in other parts of the world. It also identified a number of effective strategies that have been used elsewhere to combat these challenges. Some of our recommendations for action draw on these international perspectives. Although the final draft of the report is still in preparation, we consider the evidence to be incontrovertible that the subject of History is in crisis across our Caribbean region. Low and falling enrolments at CSEC and CAPE are merely the most obvious indicator of this. They are symptomatic of a widely held view in our societies that the subject is no longer ‘relevant’ for young people seeking employment in a globalised, dynamic and technologically driven market place; or more generally for the development of our post-colonial Caribbean societies, which are in many cases two or three generations beyond independence. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER
  11. 11. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER www.cxc.org MAY 2018 15 Webelievetheseviewstobeprofoundly mistaken. If we allow them to be propagated unchallenged, more and more of our young people will miss out on the opportunity to acquire the range of skills that the study of History can provide, and which could be used to greatly enhance their employability in the 21st Century. This point can be illustrated easily. The top ten skills and attributes of future employees identified in a recent survey of major employers by the World Economic Forum include: Complex problem solving; critical thinking; creativity; people management; coordinating with others; emotional intelligence; judgment and decision making; service orientation; negotiation; and cognitive flexibility. History, properly taught, can contribute to the development of all these skills. Perhaps even more critical than the issue of employability, is that of identity. Professor Allan Cobley is the Pro Vice-Chancellor – Undergraduate Studies at The University of the West Indies and chaired the CXC History Taskforce. Without a renewed commitment to the study of History as an integral part of our education system at every level, our societies, and our sense of ourselves as Caribbean people, will become socially, culturally, and spiritually impoverished. In a world and era in which lies are proclaimed as though they are the truth by the rich and powerful, how can we remain true to ourselves in this region if we do not know who we are? It would not be appropriate in advance of the submission of the report to CXC to go into detail in this short article on the recommendations from the Task Force. I hope to have the opportunity to go into these at a later date. However, they flow from our understanding of the urgent need to revitalise the study of History in the Caribbean in light of our observations on the current situation. They will include recommendations for CXC, for History Teachers, for TLIs, and for Ministries of Education across the region. They will address matters of administration and policy, curriculum design and content, assessment strategies, pedagogical approaches, the provision of teaching resources, and the need for a region-wide campaign to challenge and change negative attitudes towards History as a subject. Once the report has been submitted to CXC we hope to report back especially to teachers on the findings and to engage in a dialogue with all stakeholders on the key recommendations. CXC Task Force On History
  12. 12. 16 MAY 2018 www.cxc.org NEWS Meet Multifarious MANDELA 2018 Caribbean Rhodes Scholar At first glance, you can be mistaken for thinking Mandela Patrick is just another young man, but there is nothing ordinary about this 22-year-old Trinidadian. With a dazzling Caribbean smile and jovial personality, Mandela is grasping opportunities with both hands and living his passions. The Caribbean Examiner magazine recently spoke with him about his journey since winning two CAPE Regional Top Awards in 2014. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER
  13. 13. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER www.cxc.org MAY 2018 17 Since winning the CAPE top award, what have you been doing? AfterwinningtheCAPEtopMathematics and ICT student awards, I enrolled as an undergraduate student at Harvard University in August 2014. While at Harvard, I was able to pursue my two main passions, squash and computer science, at the highest level. Having represented my country, Trinidad and Tobago, in squash at both the junior and senior level, since I was nine- years old, the opportunity to play college squash at Harvard, the #1 nationally ranked college squash programme in the United States, was an incredible opportunity for me. I walked on to the Harvard varsity squash team my freshman year and I have represented Harvard in each of my four years in college. As a member of the squash team, I have had the opportunity to train with and learn from the best squash players my age. Furthermore, while a squash member, I have been a two-time Ivy League Champion and two-time National College Squash Finalist. Academically and professionally, Harvard has also opened up a lot of doors for me. Harvard has one of the top computer science departments in the world, producing the likes of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. I have always been interested in programming and computer science and therefore I relished the opportunity to learn from the excellent computer science faculty and students at Harvard. My coursework provided me with the prerequisite background to excel at my software engineering internships at Facebook, Goldman Sachs and Instagram. What are you studying now? I graduate this May (2018) from Harvard University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. I will then be pursuing a DPhilinEngineeringScienceattheUniversity of Oxford, on the Rhodes Scholarship, starting in October 2018. What will you be studying at Oxford and why? My DPhil in Engineering Science will be focused on how to build intelligent systems, using artificial intelligence and machine learning, to personalize educational experiences for students. I will be pursuing my research under Mihaela van der Schaar, the Man Professor of Quantitative Finance in the Oxford–Man Institute of Quantitative Finance (OMI) and one of the world’s leading researchers in the fields of personalized medicine and education. Education has given me so much; that I want to provide the same for others. However, my experiences have shown that not everyone has the opportunity to excel academically. I believe that everyone can learn if given the right resources, personal attention and mentorship. It’s my goal that no kid feels left behind. My dream is that everyone can succeed or excel academically. Most importantly, I don’t want the quality of teaching instruction, the student’s socio-economic background or a lack of communal support, either at school or home, be the reason why a child can’t obtain a good education. Personalized education systems can mitigate these problems. I would like to design an education system that understands where one is and can take the person to that next level. I believe personalized education can be really transformative, intuitive and fun; thus, once engaging, we can get kids excited to learn and motivated to further their education. How did you hear about the scholarship? While interning at Facebook my freshman year, Maxine Williams, fellow Trini and Global Director of Diversity at Facebook, told me how winning the Rhodes Scholarship changed her life. She mentioned how intellectually stimulating her experience was at Oxford and how special it is to be part of the Rhodes community. She told me to consider applying when I was a college senior and I am thankful I did. What inspired you to apply for the Rhodes scholarship? I was inspired to apply due to the fact that so many members of the Rhodes community are global leaders who have impacted positively on this world. I therefore felt that to be a Rhodes Scholar would enable me to one day follow in their footsteps. Other Rhodes scholars I have been inspired by include Maxine Williams, former US President Bill Clinton and former Jamaican Premier Norman Manley. What was the journey like applying for the scholarship? It was a long and challenging process.
  14. 14. 18 MAY 2018 www.cxc.org NEWS A lot of preparation went into applying, between interview practice, securing recommendations, and finalizing my application. It’s really about a six-month process. The written application requires you to submit a personal statement, six recommendation letters, your college transcript and resume. This part of the process is extremely important because the information submitted in this written part is all that the panel has to decide whether or not to invite you to an interview. Therefore, I spent the entire summer writing, editing and re-writing my personal statement to ensure that my statement effectively communicated my story and background. On submitting the written application, I had to wait for just over a month to get word on whether I made the final round. The Commonwealth Caribbean invites eight to ten students to the final round to be interviewed in Barbados and I was fortunate to be selected as a finalist. I spent the month before my interview doing mock interviews with my friends and house tutors at Harvard. Although a long and grueling process, it was extremely rewarding because by practising interviews and preparing personal statements, I was able to figure out what exactly I am passionate about and what impact I hope to one day make on this world. What was your reaction when you learnt that you were successful? It was a mix of shock, great joy and relief. I dreamt of winning this scholarship ever since I had the conversation with Maxine, and though I prepared well for the interview, I didn’t think that I would actually win. Therefore, I was shocked that I won, but relieved that my hard work paid off. There were eight other finalists from all over the Caribbean, who were just amazing and inspiring and I was extremely humbled that the interview panel selected me as the winner. I can’t imagine how difficult a decision it was for the panel to make, because there is only one scholarship for the entire Caribbean and to pick just one among us must have been incredibly difficult. I am confident that each of the finalists is one day going to make a profound impact on the Caribbean and the world at large and I am proud to say that the Caribbean is in good hands. Was there anyone who assisted you along your journey? First and foremost, my parents (Raymond and Hyacinth) have played the biggest role in my success. From since I was a child, they have instilled extremely good values that have helped me on my success journey. The values of honesty, integrity, hardwork, and discipline stand out; however, the power of the daily prayer to the Almighty is the cornerstone. They have also supported me with all my goals and ambitions and have provided the time and resources to ensure that I am successful in whatever endeavors I am pursuing. I couldn’t be here without them. Maxine Williams is another person who has helped me a lot. She reached out to me to apply to a Facebook internship after she heard about my story on the Trinidad Guardian. If it wasn’t for her, I would not have heard about such an amazing opportunity, an opportunity that changed my life. She also prompted me to apply for the Rhodes Scholarship, and helped me throughout the process. She has been such an amazing mentor to me and I am extremely thankful! In addition, mentors such as Edwin Amonoo, Geoff Seyon, Chadwick Mitchell and Nicholas Fuller have played an integral role in offering advice and support enrolling at Harvard. I also can’t forget my professors who readily agreed to recommend me for the scholarship: Harry Lewis, Margo Seltzer, Ofra Amir and Natalie Ramirez. Apart from winning the Rhodes Scholarship, what are some of the other interesting things you have done in 2017? 2017 was a really special year for me. I was able to travel to three of the seven continents over the last 12 months: Africa (South Africa), Asia (Mainland China, Hong Kong and South Korea), Central and South America (Mexico). In the summer, I got the amazing opportunity to intern as a software engineer at Instagram in NYC. At the end of 2017, I was selected to represent Trinidad and Tobago in squash at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. What are your career ambitions? I have always seen myself as an entrepreneur. Therefore, upon completing my PhD, I hope to start leveraging the skills I would have gained in my PhD to build an intelligent platform, Edify, that would provide the infrastructure for personalized education in the Caribbean and the world. My aspiration is to tailor and make education accessible to everyone. What extracurricular activities are you involved in at school? My main extra-curricular activity at Harvard is playing on the varsity squash team. I also started the Harvard Caribbean Club, which I served as president for 3 years. I’ve strived to help my wider community in areas I’m particularly passionate about: education and sport. One of my main extracurricular activities on campus has been volunteering through the Digital Literacy Project (DLP). In this programme, I teach middle school kids, usually from more economically disadvantaged communities, the fundamentals of computer science and programming. This has been a really rewarding experience for me because I get to inspire and educate these kids in a subject area I am passionate about. I see it as my prerogative to get involved in activities like this because I hope through my taking the time to help these kids at such a young age, they’ll be inspired to pursue a degree or even better a career in computer science. In a similar vein, I have volunteered at SquashBusters and StreetSquash, two sports-based youth development programmes that combine the sport of squash with academic support, community service, and college mentoring. CXC wishes Mandela great success in his future endeavours. https://www.facebook.com/MyCXC/ videos/10155786770653150/ THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER Learn more about Mandela by viewing this Let’s Talk interview using this link.
  15. 15. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER www.cxc.org MAY 2018 19 The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 18 September 2017, providing for the establishment of mutual co-operation between the two institutions. Several months in the making, the MOU is for an initial period of three years and focuses on the areas of education and human capital development in the region. Lauding the MOU signing as a significant stepforACCAintheregion,PaulaMarcelle-Irish, head of business development said, “ACCA is pleased to partner with CXC, the Caribbean’s premier examinations body, to improve education and learning methods established for accounting, finance and management qualifications as the global environment requires a high level of professional skills, technical knowledge and professional ethics. ACCA continues to grow in its influence across the region, and partnering with CXC will speak directly to our objectives of providing unlimited possibilities to those persons possessing the aptitude and attitude for success in finance and accounting.” She added, “CXC provides quality assurance in education, administration of exams and other forms of assessment and the meeting of these two bodies can only enhance education on so many levels across the Caribbean.” Mr Glenroy Cumberbatch, Registrar, said, “CXC, a premier provider of globally competitive curriculum development services, examinations, certification and education services is delighted to partner with a global brand such as ACCA to provide incentives for Caribbean students and learning and development opportunities for Caribbean teachers.” “The MOU leverages a natural synergy between ACCA and CXC, and is a significant milestone in regional and international cooperation,” the CXC Registrar added. The MOU has already borne fruit. During the Regional Top Awards ceremony held in St Kitts and Nevis on Thursday 14 December 2017, the first ACCA Regional Top Award was presented – the ACCA CAPE Business Studies Award. Guyanese Shawn Shewram, a student of St Rose’s High School, became the first recipient of the award. Mrs Paula Marcelle- Irish, head of business development at ACCA Caribbean, presented the award to Shawn. “The regional top awards in St Kitts was well executed and of an extremely high calibre. It was great to be part of the ceremony for the very first time to witness presentations of awards to the region’s best and brightest in 2017,” Mrs Marcelle-Irish said of the ceremony. “I was also happy to engage and network with other members of staff from CXC, educators, representatives from the various Ministries of Education, parents and well-wishers from across the region.” She had high praise for the St Kitts and Nevis host committee, “We were treated to, and thoroughly enjoyed live entertainment from local groups, which was of an exceptionally high standard. Congratulations again to the planning committee for the high level of professionalism in executing this event.” In reference to the awardees, the ACCA official commented, “I felt a great sense of pride when I was interacting with some of the awardees. They seemed well rounded, exuded a high level of confidence, were focussed on their career pathways to realize their goals and ambitions, yet were very much involved in extracurricular activities in and out of school.” The ACCA Business Development Head is convinced that ACCA has made the right decision to partner with CXC. “We have already started enjoying the fruits of our collaboration. Both organizations are committed to working together to ensure that global standards are met, that human capital development is achieved and that education and learning methods for students and teachers of accounting, business, finance and management are improved.” In addition to the CAPE Business Studies Award, which carries a cash prize of US$1000.00, ACCA will also present national awards to the best performer in CAPE Accounting in each territory where the subject is offered, and to the best performer in CSEC Principles of Accounts in each territory. The top CSEC POA performer in a given year will also receive a monetary prize of US$500.00. The next phase of the awards programme will include an on-the-job attachment component which students will be offered attachments with companies in their respective countries for a period during the school vacation. In addition to the top awards, ACCA will work in conjunction with the Syllabus and Curriculum Division to deliver teacher training in the business subjects as well as to provide industry feedback on the syllabuses in the business cluster. “We have already collaborated on a few initiatives outlined in the MOU including attendance at teacher orientation workshops, formal syllabus development and reviews, the completion of gap analysis reports for the Accounting syllabuses and the recognition of the region’s top Business Studies and Accounting awardees,” Mrs Marcelle-Irish explained. To cement the collaboration, Ms Julie Hotchkiss, ACCA’s Market Director for Europe and Americas paid a courtesy call on Registrar of CXC, Mr Glenroy Cumberbatch in November 2017. Ms Hotchkiss and Mr Cumberbatch reaffirmed the commitment of both institutions to the long-term sustainability of the Caribbean. ACCA and CXC Sign MOU Registrar of CXC, Mr Glenroy Cumberbatch presenting Ms Julie Hotchkiss, ACCA’s Market Director for Europe and Americas with a copy of the MOU. Looking on are Anouska Sammy (L) - Member Manager, ACCA Caribbean and Mrs Sharon Armstrong- Mullah (R), Financial Controller, CXC
  16. 16. 20 MAY 2018 www.cxc.org 1 Accountants are boring What do Janet Jackson (music recording artiste), Mick Jagger (Rolling Stones singer) and Robert Plant (a legendary musician) have in common? Answer: They all trained to become accountants before stepping into the spotlight. Hardly fitting the stereotypical image of an accountant, Jagger studied accounting and finance at the London School of Economics, going on to form the Rolling Stones in 1962. 2 Accountants do the same thing day in, day out There’s more to accounting than preparing and interpreting financial statements. Accountants can work on projects for all kinds of clients, from retailers to A-listers. This, and the global nature of the industry, means that accountants can travel widely and are needed in every industry. 3 You need to be good at maths Accountants need to be numerate and have a head for figures; but they don't need to have studied maths to a high level or starred at the International Mathematical Olympiad. Much of the big number-crunching is now done by accounting software, while the ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms look for candidates with strong commercial awareness. 4 I can just use an accountancy app There’s a thriving market of accountancy software that can help to simplify routine bookkeeping actions for small businesses - but they can’t replace the effectiveness of a human’s understanding of accountancy principles, which can provide vital insights into a business. Accountancy Myths There are plenty of misconceptions about accountants out there - if you’ve watched popular sitcoms like The Office or Parks and Recreation, you’ve probably seen them portrayed as a little bit dull! Fact is much more interesting than fiction in this case. Read on as we debunk the top eight myths about accountancy... 6 It’s a male-dominated profession Accountancy is generally seen as a profession that’s dominated by men. In 2015, however, two of the Big Four accountancy firms appointed women as CEO, with Lynne Doughtie taking the reins at KPMG and Cathy Engelbert at Deloitte. In the Caribbean, ACCA member Julie Reifer-Jones is the current CEO of Liat, and Stacy-Ann Golding is not only president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Trinidad and Tobago (ICATT), but also a partner, (Audit) at KPMG, Trinidad and Tobago. 7 Automation will make accountants redundant Stories like the Wall Street Journal’s ‘The New Bookkeeper Is a Robot’ paint a picture of a future in which large parts of the accountant’s role will be taken over by robotic process automation – computer software that’s capable of controlling a range of applications. But technical and financial expertise is always going to be required for higher level analysis, strategy and compliance issues. 8 You need an accountancy degree Accountancy is a diverse profession and firms are always looking for ways of recruiting the best talent, regardless of candidates’ education and background. Many firms have special apprenticeships designed to attract school leavers, and some have removed academic qualifications from their entry criteria to create more opportunities for bright students and broaden access. In a similar vein, Deloitte recently changed its selection process to stop recruiters knowing where candidates went to university in an attempt to remove any potential bias. Want to learn more about a career in accountancy? Visit www.yourfuture.accaglobal.com 5 Accountants only do taxes Accountants perform a wide variety of roles in the public and private sectors. They can work in-house, advising companies on auditing, financial management and regulatory matters, and thinking strategically about the business. Alternatively, accountants also play a vital role in delivering public services and helping not-for-profit organizations. And because accountancy firms are global organizations, it’s a career that opens up international opportunities. NEWS THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER
  17. 17. 22 MAY 2018 www.cxc.org The number of candidates who are absent for the January sitting of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) is now a cause for concern according to Dr Marcia Potter, Deputy Chair of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC). Dr Potter, also the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Culture in the British Virgin Islands, was speaking as she chaired the 70th Meeting of the Final Awards Committee (FAC) of CXC on Friday 16 February 2018 at CXC Headquarters in Barbados. During the meeting, it was revealed that in a number of subjects, many candidates did not show up for their examinations, which were paid for by either the candidates or their governments. “I am a concerned about the number of absentees. It is cause for concern that taxpayers money is being used to pay [for examinations fees] and candidates are not showing up to write the examinations,” Dr Potter lamented. Absenteeism has always been an issue in the January sitting. However, this year it was significantly higher in some subjects: Office Administration (41%); English B (37%); Principles of Accounts (31%); Information Technology (30%); and Social Studies (28%). CXC Response In noting the issue, Registrar of CXC, Mr Glenroy Cumberbatch said CXC is responding to help candidates better prepare for the January sitting. The Registrar said CXC plans to provide more detailed feedback to candidates on their performance so that they know exactly their areas of strength and weakness. In addition, he said the CXC Learning Hub would provide additional resources to candidates to aid their examinations preparation. The Learning Hub is expected to be ready by the end of September 2018. Mixed performance The overall performance in the January sitting was mixed, with some subjects in the Natural Science cognate cluster seeing marked improvements while there was declining performance on other subjects. Performance in Biology saw the most significant improvement with 71 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades – Grades I-III. This improvement, was a result of better performance on all three profiles: Knowledge and Comprehension, Use of Knowledge and Experimental Skills. There was a 26 per cent improvement in performance on Human and Social Biology; some 70 per cent of entries achieved Grades I-III. For Chemistry, 47 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades this year, while for Physics, the level of performance remained the same over the two-year period at 65 per cent. Improved performance on all three profiles for Information Technology resulted in an overall improvement. This year, 72 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades. Performance in the Theory profile moved from 76 to 85 per cent; Productivity Tools from 63 to 73 per cent and Problem Solving and Programming from 50 to 58 per cent. Performance on English A remained the same as in 2017 with 56 per cent of entries achieving the acceptable grades, while for English B, 27 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades this year. The Subject Awards Committee reported that in several cases, candidates scored zero on a number of questions on Paper 02. Some candidates wrote no answers and others simply wrote back the question. Mathematics continued its downward trend that started three years ago. This year, 30 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades. In the Business Studies cognate, performance on Principles of Business was at 55 per cent of acceptable grades. This performance was a result of a decline on all three profiles: Organizational Principles, Production, Marketing and Finance and Business Environment. Performance on Principles of Accounts was at 39 per cent this year. Performance on the three profiles – Knowledge, Application and Interpretation – also declined. Office Administration registered a two per cent improvement in performance with 64 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades this year. Increased entries Thirteen subjects were offered in the January 2018 sitting and there were increases in both subject and candidate entries. A total of 40,654 subject entries were received compared with 34,560 in 2017. There was an increase in the number of candidate entries also with 20,149 entries this year compared with 16,568 entries in 2017. Mathematics is the largest subject with 13,099 entries, followed by English A with 11,050, and Social Studies with 3,517 entries. Candidates 19 years old and over dominate the January sitting with just under 8,000 candidates in that age group. Candidates 17 years old occupied the second spot, with 4,302, followed by candidates 16 years old with 3,926 entries. Candidates in the January sitting are mainly private candidates and school candidates who wish to improve their grades in a subject taken in the May/June sitting. NEWS ABSENTEEISM a Cause for Concern THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER
  18. 18. 24 MAY 2018 www.cxc.org Minister with responsibility for Education in St Kitts and Nevis, Honourable Shawn Richards’ words that St Kitts and Nevis felt honoured to host the 49th Council Meeting of CXC rang true throughout the entire Federation. From the VIP treatment on arrival at the airport, welcome party at the Marriot Resort, to the farewell cocktail party the last night, St Kitts and Nevis once again punched above its weight. The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) held its 49th meeting at the St Kitts Marriott Resort, St Kitts and Nevis on Friday 15 December and the meeting of the School Examinations Committee (SEC) on Thursday 14 December 2017. The SEC and Council meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Chairman of CXC and Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies. St Kitts and Nevis “Honoured” to Host Council Opening of Council and Presentation of Top Awards T h e o p e n i n g c e r e m o n y f o r Council and presentation of awards for outstanding performances in the May/ June 2017 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE), the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC), and the Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC) examinations was hosted at the St Kitts Marriott Hotel on Thursday 14 December at 7:00 pm. Honourable Shawn Richards, Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture in St Kitts and Nevis graced the ceremony with his presence and delivered the feature address at the ceremony. Minister Richards said St Kitts and Nevis hosting of the CXC governance meetings was an indication the country’s commitment to the region generally and to CXC in particular. The Premier of Nevis, Honourable Vance Amory was also in attendance and gave the welcome remarks. Premier Amory’s message to the awardees was that they needed to see themselves as the furture of the Caribbean. Leader of the Opposition and former Prime Minister, Honourable Dr Denzil Douglas was a guest at the ceremony and assisted in presenting awards. Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, gave remarks at the ceremony. Professor Beckles urged the awardees to become advocates of causes and stand up and speak up for something. NEWS THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER CAPE, CSEC and CCSLC Regional Top Awardees posing with their prizes
  19. 19. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER www.cxc.org MAY 2018 25 Sir Hilary noted that the CSEC awardees are provided with a full scholarship by The University of the West Indies once they complete their CAPE or an associate degree. He explained that the scholarship is meant to attract the region’s brightest and best minds to the region’s top university. Regional Top Awards During the ceremony held on the night of Thursday 14 December, students from six Caribbean countries – Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago – received awards for outstanding performances in the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE), Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and the Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC). Tareque Raeburn of Presentation Boys’ College, Grenada received the award for the Most Outstanding Male Student in CCSLC, while Kedeema Blanchette of Basseterre High School, St Kitts and Nevis, received the award for Most Outstanding Female Student in CCSLC. Tareque achieved Master in CCSLC English and Mathematics and Grade I in CSEC Information Technology, Physical Education and Sport and Grade II in Industrial Technology (Electrical). Kadeema achieved Master in CCSLC English, French and Mathematics and Grade I in CSEC Theatre Arts and Physical Education and Sport. High School was presented with the first ACCA/CXC Business Studies Award by Mrs Paula Marcelle-Irish Head of Business Development at ACCA Caribbean. ShannonWoodroffeofQueen’sCollege, a former CSEC awardee, received the first RM Results-sponsored CAPE Mathematics Award. Shannon also received the award for Natural Science. She achieved Grade I in 13 Units, all with “As” in the Module grades. Jared Johnson of Campion College, Jamaica received the Hodder Education CAPE Humanities Award. He achieved Grade I in nine Units and Grade II in one Unit. St Kitts and Nevis “Honoured” to Host Council Opposition Leader in St Kitts and Nevis, Dr Denzil Douglas (centre) posing for a photograph with Regional Top Awardees, CXC officials and Ministry of Education officials Awardees and delegation from CXC and Ministry of Education posing with Governor General of St Kitts and Nevis His Excellency Sir Tapley Seaton (centre) CXC Registrar, Mr Glenroy Cumberbatch presenting Governor General Sir Tapley Seaton with a piece of artwork. Deputy Chair, Dr Marcia Potter looks on CAPE Joel Kissoon of Presentation College, San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago, received the Dennis Irvine Award. He is the third student from Presentation College, San Fernando to receive the award. Joel achieved Grade in 14 Units and Grade II in two Units. Chela Aufderheide of Naparima Girls’ High School, Trinidad and Tobago received the Language Studies award with Grade I in 12 Units. Students from Guyana received three awards. Shawn Shewram of St Rose’s
  20. 20. 26 MAY 2018 www.cxc.org CSEC Awardees Michael Bhopaul, a student of Queen’s College, Guyana, received the most awards on the night. Michael received the awards for the Most Outstanding Candidate Overall, Most Outstanding Candidate in Sciences, Most Outstanding Candidate in Business Studies and Most Outstanding Candidate in Technical Vocational Education. Another student from Queen’s College, Rawletta Barrow won the award for Most Outstanding Candidate in Humanities. Rawletta achieved Grade I in 19 subjects. Aasim Baksh of St Stanislaus College, Guyana, was presented with the award for the Best Short Story. Aasim’s story was entitled “The Tremor.” The award for Best 3-Dimensional Visual Art pieces went to Nerissa Niles of Grantley Adams Memorial School, Barbados, while Kerron John of San Juan South Secondary School, Trinidad and Tobago received prize for the Best 2-Dimensional Visual Art work. Courtesy Calls The VIPs in the federation also welcomed the awardees and a CXC delegation during courtesy calls. His Excellency Sir Taplet Seaton, Governor General of St Kitts and Nevis; Honourable Shawn Richards, Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Youth, Sport and Culture; and Leader of Opposition the Right Honourable Dr Denzil Douglas, all welcomed the delegation to their respective offices. During the courtesy calls, the awardees introduced themselves and spoke about their accomplishments. They also took the opportunity to quiz the VIPs about various issues affecting the Caribbean. Each visit ended with the presentation of a gift of a student’s painting to the host. The awardees were encouraged by all dignitaries to continue to excel in their fields of endeavour. They were also advised to view their accomplishments not as the end of the road, but as the beginning of a journey that has started. The awardees visited the sister isle of Nevis on Tuesday afternoon and interacted with educators, students and a former top awardee from the island Kamala Swanston. They also toured the island and was treated to a sumptuous lunch at the world-famous Four Seasons Hotel. Tours were also arranged for the regional top awardees, members of the School Examinations Committee (SEC) and members of Council, to see St Kitts. Including the historic Brimestone Hill Fortress, the Eco Park and the St Kitts Scenic Railway. Registrar’s Report C o u n c i l r e c e i v e d t h e 2 0 1 7 Registrar’s Report presented by Mr Glenroy Cumberbatch, CXC Registrar. Mr Cumberbatch highlighted the Council’s accomplishments in 2017. These included increased candidates by over 2000, addition of one CAPE subject, Design and Technology, ground work for expansion into the non-English-speaking Caribbean territories, increased marketing of CCSLC, CVQ and CSEC; completion of CXC Service Charter, and achievement of 97 per cent Information Systems reliability. The Registrar also reported that all subjects will be made available via electronic testing in 2018 for territories that are interested in offering it to their candidates. He also noted that all subjects will be marked electronically by 2019. Payment structure for e-markers The School Examinations Committee (SEC) discussed the revised payment structure for e-markers. The meeting heard that CXC recruited a consultant to review the payment structure for e-marking and a revised payment structure was recommended and approved. The revised structure will result in a $455, 000 increase in CXC marking budget. CAPE History Taskforce Chairman of the History Task force, Professor Alan Cobley, presented the report to SEC. He noted that both the enrollment and performance in history had declined over the years. So far, the task force had conducted two surveys and gathered significant entry and performance data on CSEC and CAPE History. CXC Learning Hub SEC also received an update on the development of the CXC Learning Hub and noted that a number of Digital Toolkits had been developed for CCSLC, CSEC, CVQ and CAPE. It was reported that more toolkits would be developed in 2017 and would be housed in NotesMaster platform. SEC also noted that CPEA resources in the form of e-books had been published and that the books were written by pupils who had entered a story-writing competition mounted by CXC in 2014. Members were informed that another competition would be launched in 2017 and CXC would also invite short stories from professional authors. NEWS THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER Deputy Chair, Dr Marcia Potter presenting award to Jared Johnson of JamaicaPremier of Nevis, Honourable Vance Amory presenting award to Tereque Raeburn of Grenada
  21. 21. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER www.cxc.org MAY 2018 27 Syllabus Development SEC received the summary of major decisions from the meetings of SUBSEC held during 2017. Members were presented with the major decisions taken at those meetings including: Approval of the revisions to six CAPE syllabuses: History and Literatures in English to be distributed in 2017 and for first examination in 2018; Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Law to be distributed in 2018 and first examination in 2019. Approval of revisions to five CSEC syllabuses: Music to be distributed in 2018 and for examination in 2020. Theatre Arts to be distributed in 2018 and examination in 2020. Economics, Principles of Accounts and Principles of Business to be distributed in 2017 and for examinations in 2019. SEC also heard that at the request of stakeholders, SUBSEC agreed to defer the use of CAD software for Technical Drawing to 2018 in an effort to allow schools to effect the necessary upgrades to their technology and for training in the use of the software to take place. St Vincent and the Grenadines has offered to host the 2018 CXC governance meetings. St Vincent and the Grenadines last hosted the meetings in 2006. Sir Hilary noted that the CSEC awardees are provided with a full scholarship by The University of the West Indies once they complete their CAPE or an associated degree. Sir Hilary explained that the scholarship is meant to attract the region’s brightest and best minds to the region’s top university. St Kitts and Nevis “Honoured” to Host Council Minister of Education in St Kitts and Nevis, Honourable Shawn Richards presenting award to Rawletta Barrow Mrs Paula Marcelle-Irish, Head of Business Development, ACCA Caribbean, presenting Shawn Shewram with his award Chairman of CXC, Sir Hilary presenting plaque to Michael Bhopaul, Overall Top performer for CSEC
  22. 22. 28 MAY 2018 www.cxc.org NEWS The crème de la crème of students in the 2017 Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC), Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) have been given a challenge – “Fulfil your potential!” That was the charge to the twelve students who gathered at the St Kitts Marriot Hotel last December 14 to receive awards for outstanding performance in the respective examinations. And it came from Chairman of CXC and Vice Chancellor of The University of the West Indies, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles. “You must fulfil your potential,” Sir Hilary told the awardees, who were smartly attired in their respective school uniforms. “You must go on to tertiary education because the Caribbean has the lowest enrolment in tertiary education in the Western Hemisphere.” Delivering the Chairman’s Remarks at the annual awards event, Sir Hilary added, “this [low enrolment] is a threat to the advancement of our society and culture and you must also persuade your colleagues to go on,” he stressed. The outstanding academic also urged governments and the private sector to modernise and diversify the region so that the young people would want to take it over. He described the regional awardees as “young giants” and said the region was proud of their accomplishments. An economic historian, Professor Beckles told the young people to speak up on issues affecting them. "Each of you have to be an advocate of your views,” he charged as the awardees paid rapt attention as he spoke. During the press conference held following the Council meeting, Sir Hilary told members of the media that the 2017 awards ceremony would be remembered for its celebration of the brilliance of the awardees who have excelled and broke records of achievement and academic performance. The apparent reference to the accomplishments of Michael Bhopaul, the Queen’s College, Guyana student who Sir Hilary to Top Awardees – “Fulfil Your Potential”By Cleveland Sam achieved 25 Grade I’s at CSEC, the first time any student has achieved such a feat. Premier of Nevis, Honourable Vance Amory, who gave remarks at the awards function, told the awardees they had a great responsibility, “As the young people of the region you are the future.” New Awards Two new awards were presented for the first time at the awards ceremony in St Kitts/Nevis: the ACCA CAPE Business Studies Award and the RM Results CAPE Mathematics Award. ShawnShewramofStRose’sHighSchool in Guyana became the first recipient of the CXC/ACCA Business Studies Award. Shawn received the award from Mrs Paula Marcelle- Irish, Head of Business Development at Trinidad-based ACCA Caribbean. Shawn achieved Grade I in 12 Units: Accounting Units 1 and 2, Caribbean Studies, Communication Studies, Economics Units 1 and 2, Entrepreneurship Units 1 and 2, Law Units 1 and 2, Management of Business Units 1 and 2; and Grade III in two Units: Integrated Mathematics and Literatures in English Unit 1. The ACCA award forms part of the landmark MOU signed between CXC and ACCA in 2017, which will focus on education and human capital development in the region. As part of the agreement ACCA will present awards annually to the top performing accounting students in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) in all CXC territories offering these subjects. Shannon Woodroffe, another student from Guyana and no stranger to regional top awards, received the first RM Results- sponsored CAPE Mathematics Award. The award was presented to Shannon by Mr Glenroy Cumberbatch, Registrar of CXC on behalf of RM Results. Shannon of Queen’s College and a former CSEC awardee, also received the award for Most Outstanding Candidate in Natural Sciences. She achieved Grade I in 13 Units, all with “A’s” in the Module grades: Applied Mathematics Units 1 and 2, Biology Units 1 and 2, Caribbean Studies, Chemistry Units 1 and 2, Communications Studies, Integrated Mathematics, Physics Units 1 and 2 and Pure Mathematics Units 1 and 2. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER Professor Sir Hilary Beckles
  23. 23. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER www.cxc.org MAY 2018 29 Both Shawn and Shannon will be involved in some work study experience as part of their prize with the two companies. Mr Jonathan Hale, RM’s Head of International Customers, stated, “Shannon has shown that she is an exemplary student within the field of Mathematics and has a bright future ahead of her. We look forward to playing a part in it.” Hodder Humanities Award Jared Johnson of Campion College, Jamaica, became the fifth recipient of the Hodder CAPE Humanities Award. Jared was presented with the Hodder CAPE Humanities Award by Sir Hilary Beckles, Chairman of CXC. He achieved Grade I in nine CAPE Units and Grade II in one Unit. Chela Aufderheide of Naparima Girls’ High School, Trinidad and Tobago, received the award for Language Studies with Grade I in 12 Units. A student from Presentation College, San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago, was once again the winner of the Dennis Irvine Award, the symbol of academic excellence for CAPE. Joel Kissoon followed in the footsteps of two previous Presentation College students Nicolas Sammy and Kerry Singh. Joel achieved Grade I in 14 CAPE Units and Grade II in two Units to cop the top CAPE prize on the night. Record-breaking Michael Bhopaul, a student of Queen’s College, Guyana walked away with most of the CSEC top award prizes and needed assistance collecting the prizes as his hands were not big enough to hold all at the same time. Michael copped the award for Most Outstanding Candidate Overall with 25 Grade I’s. He also won the awards for Most Outstanding Candidate in Sciences, Most Outstanding Candidate in Business Education and Most Outstanding Candidate in Technical Vocational Education. Another Queen’s College student, Rawletta Barrow, took home the award for the Most Outstanding Candidate in Humanities with Grade I in 19 subjects. Another Guyanese student, Aasim Bajsk of St Stanislaus College, took home the award for the Best Short Story in the English A examination. Aasim’s story was entitled “The Tremor.” The two awards for Visual Arts went to students from Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago. Kerron John of San Juan South Secondary School, Trinidad received the award for Best 2-Dimensional Work. His piece was entitled “Leaves, roots and branches;” while Nerissa Niles of Grantley Adams Memorial School, Barbados received the award for Best 3-Dimensional Work. Nerissa’s piece was entitled “The Mask.” As part of their prize package, all CSEC awardees received an offer of a full scholarship from The University of the West Indies, a monetary prize from CXC and all-expenses paid trip to the awards. Sir Hilary to Top Awardees – “Fulfil Your Potential”
  24. 24. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER
  25. 25. PHOTO:MARINAS.COM St Kitts and Nevis EXPERIENCE www.cxc.org MAY 2018 31
  26. 26. 32 MAY 2018 www.cxc.org My St Kitts and Nevis experience was one filled with exciting excursions, freshly forged friendships and unforgettable encounters. I was truly blessed and fortunate to have been deemed worthy because of my CCSLC performance and to represent my school, family and country at the 49th Annual CXC Governance Meeting and Awards ceremony in St. Kitts and Nevis. The awards ceremony brought together some of the region’s brightest minds and scholars to honour and commend them for their performances in various subject groups at the different examination levels of CXC. I was proud to have been named the “Top Male Performer in the Region for the CCSLC Examination” and was ecstatic to find out what the country had in store for us. We, the awardees, paid courtesy calls to various high-ranking Government officials in the state of St Kitts and Nevis. Courtesy calls were made with the Governor General, His Excellency Sir Samuel Tapley Seaton; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Honourable Shawn Richards; and the Leader of the Opposition, the Right Honourable Dr Denzil Douglas. They opened their doors and welcomed us to their beautiful country, while imparting advice on ways in which we can be the winds of change in our region. The words of Honourable Shawn Richards spoke to me the most. He urged us to not only use our education for our own advancement, but also for the upliftment of our communities and the people around us. This resonated with me because it reaffirmed some of my own beliefs, in that I see it [using education] as a way to give back to one’s community. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, or so the saying goes when we are confronted with many responsibilities and not much time to enjoy ourselves. This was not the case during our visit. We engaged in a small shopping spree in Basseterre at Port Zante and bought trinkets to commemorate our visit to the island. Excursions to the St Kitts Scenic Railway and the St Kitts Eco Park were thoroughly enjoyed as the most pictures were most likely taken at these locations. Tereque RaeburnPRESENTATION BOYS’ COLLEGE, GRENADA I can’t help but marvel at the striking resemblance between St Kitts and Grenada. Visiting the picturesque Brimstone Hill Fortress was a personal highlight as it provided the perfect blend of history and feats of human architecture. Our Kittitian experience would not have been complete without a trip to the twin isle, Nevis. On Nevis, we were given an island tour and had lunch at the prestigious Four Seasons Hotel. This experience was truly humbling as I was one of the privileged few who was honoured with the opportunity to travel for the awards ceremony. On that auspicious night, I was filled with a sense of euphoria as I received my award. This trip was something extraordinarily special and the experience forever etched in my mind. I established new friendships and I am happy to have met my fellow awardees. I would like to sincerely thank Mr Cleveland Sam and the entire CXC team for making this come to fruition. This experience was truly humbling as I was one of the privileged few who was honoured with the opportunity to travel for the awards ceremony. St Kitts and Nevis Experience
  27. 27. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER www.cxc.org MAY 2018 33 December 11th to 15th 2017 was one of the most memorable times of my life. After receiving the news that I had won the best CCSLC Female Candidate Award for 2017, I was in awe. I then got the news that I would be given the opportunity to stay at the Marriott Hotel in my home country St Kitts and Nevis for an entire week - all expenses paid - with some of the region’s most brilliant students. Upon arriving at the hotel, I was warmly greeted by CXC officials and checked into my room which I share with Trinidadian awardee Chela Aufderheide. Over the course of the week, I mingled and created life-long friendships with my fellow awardees. It was a packed week as the CXC team tried to ensure that we got to explore my little island. We engaged in radio and television interviews, visited historical landmarks and visited the sister island of Nevis. The award ceremony really made us feel appreciated for all of the hard work we put in to achieve excellence in our examinations. We still connect with each other via WhatsApp and Facebook to keep in touch. It was truly a memorable experience for me and I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the CXC team for affording us this wonderful opportunity. Long live CXC! Kadeema BlanchetteBASSETERRE HIGH SCHOOL, ST KITTS AND NEVIS THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER www.cxc.org MAY 2018 33
  28. 28. The brief period which I spent on the country of St Kitts and Nevis, amounting to approximately four days, allowed me to create worthwhile memories from the plethora of exhilarating experiences and culture to which I was exposed. The first thing that fills my mind as I reflect, is the people of these islands. Not only were they warm and welcoming, but also humble in their showcasing of these gems of the Caribbean on which they reside. Their hospitality allowed me to relish my time, as if I were in the comfort of my homeland, Guyana, while taking in the marvelous aspects of the islands. This great contentment was compounded by the pleasurable activities in which I was involved as part of the island tour. Firstly, I was granted the honour of meeting the distinguished Governor General, the Minister of Education and the Leader of the Opposition. I was not only elated to meet these individuals, but impressed by their humility and the grace with which they welcomed the awardees to St Kitts and Nevis. Michael BhopaulQUEEN’S COLLEGE, GUYANA Subsequently, the awardees were given a tour of Nevis. I enjoyed the travel by boat to the island and this elation was augmented as I gazed upon the natural beauty of Nevis as it came into view. Then, after having enjoyed a hearty lunch sponsored by the Premier of Nevis, I got the opportunity to see the captivating sights of Nevis via a tour by bus. Images of the sloping landscape and ‘the haunted house’, among other things, remain in my memory due to the sheer beauty of the former and the exciting mysteries surrounding the latter. At the end of the tour I was a bit sad, but this was soon overshadowed by the burst of awe I experienced as I witnessed spectacular sunset over the sea, on my way back to St. Kitts. The second day was unforgettable as the awardees were taken out for shopping in Basseterre. I was bewildered upon visiting the tourist shops and seeing the many things to buy, especially those handcrafted by locals. Adding to this was my amusement as Joel and Tereque took pictures with the monkeys in the streets. I cannot seem to decide which is the fonder memories is: the image of them with the monkeys or the sound of the hearty laugh I had seeing that. One of the most interesting experiences was the nature tour. We were given a tour of part of the island by train. This is an unforgettable experience for me as it was the first time I was on a train and at the same time, surrounded by natural beauty of St Kitts. Sights such as the major bridges, Lover’s Beach and the remains of sugar estates will always linger in my mind, for I cannot bear to rid my subconscious of such persistent pleasant memories. The visit to Brimestone Hill was also memorable. I was truly amazed at the engineering skills displayed in the construction of the fort, and, at the same time, the high degree to which the fort has been preserved in its original state. Furthermore, the view from its peak was one to live for as on one side the dense vegetation clads the side of a hill, whereas on the opposite side there is a view of the sea and the neighbours of St Kitts in the distance. These sights were engrained in my memory due to the spectacle associated with them. My time in St Kitts was memorable. The experiences have enriched my life and fill my being with pleasure as I reflect on them in my quiet moments. St Kitts and Nevis Experience
  29. 29. THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER www.cxc.org MAY 2018 35 To be the recipient of not just one, but the two regional CAPE awards for my two fields of study was quite overwhelming. Being a regional CSEC awardee in 2015, it was always a prospect in my mind to be an awardee again in 2017, but more as a tease rather than a definite goal. In fact, I was very much in disbelief on receiving the news of this success. My anticipation for the week of activities was a mixture of excitement and anxiety as I was still in the midst of examinations at university when I departed for St Kitts. Nevertheless, both Guyanese and Trinidadian awardees met in island-hopping to our destination and our friendships sprouted. I remember going through my notes and past papers while sipping on a hot chocolate beverage between islands. After hours of travel, we finally landed in St Kitts where the celebrity treatment began. Not only were we welcomed by a Ministry of Education official, but were we ushered into the VIP Lounge while our immigration matters were taken care of; It was the beginning of a week of status as officials and treatment as honoured guests. Although I was the only female awardee without a roommate and therefore without a 24-hour companion, I was given a double-occupancy bedroom. I was able to derive much enjoyment from the comfort of my bedroom in the lavish Marriott Resort, alternating the beds on Shannon WoodroffeQUEEN’S COLLEGE, GUYANA which I slept. Due to my two remaining exams, which I was allowed to complete in St Kitts, I was unable to attend two of the courtesy calls. However, after my first exam, I was rushed back to the hotel, then to the ferry terminal to depart for Nevis, being the last to board the ferry a few minutes later than the scheduled departure. That afternoon, apart from our island (Nevis) tour, we were able to experience the beaches of the exquisite Four Seasons Resort, the Hot Water Springs and the beautiful island sunset behind the mountains. On the following day, I completed my exams — enabling me to enjoy the rest of the trip as a vacation with my newfound friends — and re-joined the other awardees to visit and shop in Basseterre during the afternoon. On these nights, we were able to explore the hotel compound and relax at the poolside. The following day brought the perfect close to our time together: a train ride around the island — most of us had never been on a train — visits to the St Kitts Eco-Park and Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park — where we also enjoyed lunch in the peaceful outdoors — and of course, the reason we were all there, the Awards Ceremony. It was then that we were able to step out in our full aplomb and appreciate and celebrate each other’s accomplishments. After spending our final night together, I was among the first group to depart the island. But we departed with more than just our luggage and a few plaques, we left St Kitts with new friendships, new inspiration and new experiences. It was indeed a glum moment to return home going in separate directions as it is after all, always a beautiful experience to share in others’ accomplishments and celebrations and cultures and to extend our comfort zones to each other.
  30. 30. 36 MAY 2018 www.cxc.org T o n i g h t , our presence acknowledges the meritorious s u c c e s s e s o f several brilliant m i n d s o f t h e Caribbean. The r e m a r k a b l e achievements of these talented young minds have served to usher us here. Such achievements serve not only to glorify these awardees, but will hopefully catalyze in them, the urge to apply these extolled displays of brilliance to the development of our Caribbean Region. The records, which they have set, are the fruits of an educational venture, undertaken by them, and their support systems. Hence, I humbly stand before you all not to merely thank, but to panegyrize those who have been integrally involved in this journey, from inception to fruition. I wish to turn our attention to God. I express thanks to Him for His unwavering guidance and protection which have allowed us, the awardees, to bask in the zenith of our abilities as we attained our great heights. Further, I thank Him for his blessings which have allowed for a smooth, entertaining and celebratory week, unadulterated by any degree of negativity. In continuing, on behalf of the awardees, I sincerely express gratitude to the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), and associated personnel, for permitting and facilitating an enjoyable experience on this territory, as well as for acknowledging our academic performances at this prestigious ceremony. We wish to express gratitude to the CXC Team and Members of the Ministry of Education, St. Kitts, which encompasses our exceptional chaperones. Our gratitude lies, not only in the fact that our achievements, themselves, are being honoured, but extends to encompass the facilitation of our presence on the prepossessing islands of St. Kitts and Nevis. We also wish to express our appreciation for the tours which have sought to entertain and enlighten us, as well as the courtesy calls that have exposed us to dignified personalities within this society, such as His Excellency Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton, The Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, Honourable Shawn Richards, and Right Honourable Dr Denzil Douglas, The Leader of the Opposition, whose words of wisdom have certainly urged us to continue our path of success as we simultaneously uplift others. These experiences have certainly added to the flamboyance of our lives, and have grounded in our minds, the simple pleasures that follow success. We, once again, express sincerest gratitude to you all for your ideal initiatives. Next, on behalf of my fellow Awardees, I seek to acknowledge the various institutions and individuals who have played crucial roles in the fruition of our academic journey. Fellow Awardees, I thank you, not only for your successes, but for being able to discover your true potentials and applying them appropriately. This has allowed you to become influential individuals of our Caribbean Society who will, without a doubt, have a positive impact on those who find themselves in your company. Incidentally, we are gathered here today to celebrate your achievements, which have been engrained in the annals of history, and we thank you for making such an occasion possible, allowing us to share in your joy. Parents, your contributions in the lives of your children, the awardees, have been, truly invaluable. Words cannot articulate our feelings at this time. We are grateful for your contribution as they have served to keep us grounded and focused as we traversed our path to success. We are also confident that you will continue to assist us as we propel to other tiers of our educational journey. The great Albert Einstein once said: “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge”. We express appreciation for our teachers who have done exactly this, and even pushed past their required duties to ensure that we attain great heights. Teachers, you, among others, have molded us into the productive and diligent individuals we are. This has now become an integral aspect of our disposition, and will be crucial as we surge on to greater heights; we thank you for this remarkable gift, inter alia. Kudos are also in order for the Ministries of Education of the respective territories for providing the necessary resources to our schools, as well as for maintaining well- coordinated systems related to education that have allowed utmost efficiency. These resources have been our tools for learning, which have been complimented by the stability of impeccable education systems. These combined benefits were instrumental in our academic successes. In addition, we thank our colleagues who have enriched our lives at school. The joy associated with friendship has often lightened our spirits, giving us well-deserved moments of recreation, and even making school a place where we were comfortable and elated to be, and to embrace. Finally, we wish to acknowledge all those who have made even the slightest contribution to our successes, as well as others for the facilitation of this epoch- making occasion, embedded within a week of vigour and excitement. Although you have not been named your efforts have not gone overlooked, and we express our sincerest gratitude to you. In closing, I wish to say to you, the Awardees, that you have come a far way in life, but you have by no means exhausted the list of your achievements. I implore you to continue on your path of excellence, as you break records, etch your names in history, and ultimately excel, making the Caribbean proud. I also hope that as you attain breath-taking heights, you do not forget your roots. The Caribbean is, and will always be your home. The key to its development rests in your hands. Thus, I urge you to use your gifts and talents to make this region, a better place in the global village, for you will be the leaders who will effectuate positive phenomenal changes of incredible magnitude. Thank you. Vote of ThanksBy Michael Bhopaul NEWS THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER
  31. 31. 38 MAY 2018 www.cxc.org The CXC Leadership Potential Recognition Programme was officially launched in April 2018. This initiative, conceptualized in 2016 and developed in 2017, was founded on the need to identify staff with potential and ensure that they develop skills which will make them more competitive and capable of assuming more senior roles at CXC. This will be done through the provision of generic and targeted learning and development opportunities, in keeping with both the Leadership Framework which was developed specially for CXC. In 2018, the focus is on the Managerial level, and during the latter part of 2018, the programme will be extended to include persons at the Professional and Administrative levels, with the aim to include the entire organization by the end of 2019. The first cohort of five Managers has been selected. Several steps were taken to ensure that the selection process was both transparent and fair. The steps included the assessment of all of the Managers by themselves as well as by their supervisors using the CXC Leadership Proficiency Framework, that was developed specifically for CXC by consultants, an analysis of the 2017 performance reviews of the staff identified in the initial step, to ensure that the selection was supported by the performance of the individuals, and then a final review by the Management Team. We are pleased to announce the participants for the inaugural cohort: Mr Andre Blair – D a t a b a s e Administrator, Information Systems Department, Headquarters; Mrs Sheree Deslandes – Finance Manager, Finance and Office Management Department, Western Zone Office; Mr Keone James – Systems Administrator in the Information Systems Department, Headquarters; Mrs Keisha Laurie – Manager, Measurement and Evaluation in the Examinations Development and Production Department, Headquarters; and Mr Sean Wilson – Finance Manager in the Finance and Office Management Department, Headquarters. During the first year of the programme, theparticipantswillbeinvitedtoparticipatein the Distinguished Leadership and Innovation Conference in Trinidad, and each one will be provided with an additional individual course to assist with their leadership development. These courses will vary based on the identified areas for development for each individual. As potential leaders, they will be invited to participate in organizational strategic planning sessions, and it is anticipated that they will make valuable contributions to these sessions. They will also be afforded an opportunity to make knowledge sharing presentations at staff meetings and within their respective departments as well as invited to represent the organization at stakeholder events. The value added by the programme is only relevant if it can be measured and as such at the end of the programme, the participants will be assessed using the Leadership Proficiency Framework, which was used as the initial step in the identification process, to determine what changes if any, are noted. As the programme expands, further evaluation will take place to determine the outcomes of the programme as it relates to people being promoted to more senior roles, increased staff engagement and organizational productivity. Whilst the participants stand to benefit significantly by their involvement in the programme, it is anticipated that the Council will reap rewards through increased Employee Engagement as staff endeavour to become a part of the programme. Roslyn Harewood-Blackman is Human Resource Manager in the Human Resource Division at CXC. NEWS LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL RECOGNITION PROGRAMME By Roslyn Harewood-Blackman THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINER Sheree Deslandes Keone JamesAndre Blair Keisha Laurie Sean Wilson

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