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The Caribbean Examiner Magazine - Volume 13

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The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) took a major step to chronicle its rich history for posterity with the launch of the book A History of the Caribbean Examinations Council 1973–2013. The book was launched on Tuesday 2 December 2014 during a ceremony hosted at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica.

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The Caribbean Examiner Magazine - Volume 13

  1. 1. The Caribbean Examiner www.cxc.org MAY 2015 3 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 and Dr Victor Simpson Please send your comments to: CARIBBEAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL © (CXC), Prince Road, Pine Plantation Road, St Michael, Barbados Website: www.CXC.org • E-mail: CXCezo@CXC.org • ISSN 2071-9019 IN THIS ISSUE 04 CXC® Chronicles its History for Posterity By Cleveland Sam 07 BOOK REVIEWS Dr Didacus Jules Professor Emeritus Patrick E. Bryan Professor Emeritus Errol Miller Dr Wendy C. Grenade 12 Make the Exceptional the Norm - Minister Thwaites CXC® News 18 New CXC® Chairman 19 New Registrar 20 Top Awardees’ Jamaica Experience 28 CXC® Launches Online Store 30 January CSEC® Performance Trending Up 32 CXC’s Footprints CAPE® Digital Media By Cherryl Stephens and Alton McPherson 36 More US Schools Offering Credits for CAPE® 38 CXC® Makes Key Staff Appointments About this issue: CXC has a rich and unique history, and the launch of A History of the Caribbean Examinations Council 1973-2013 in December 2014 chronicles the twists, turns, accomplishments and challenges which have being part of the Council’s 40-year existence. This issue of the Caribbean Examiner reviews the CXC History book and also captures the best memories of the 2014 Regional Top Awardees’ amazing experience in Jamaica. On the cover: (L-R) Professor Emeritus Patrick Bryan, Dr Didacus Jules, Professor Neville Ying, the Most Honourable Professor Sir Kenneth Hall, The Honourable Rev. Ronald Thwaites. P32 P20
  2. 2. CXC®Chroniclesits HistoryforPosterity By Cleveland Sam
  3. 3. The Caribbean Examiner www.cxc.org MAY 2015 5 The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) took a major step to chronicle its rich history for posterity with the launch of the book A History of the Caribbean Examinations Council 1973–2013. The book was launched on Tuesday 2 December 2014 during a ceremony hosted at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica. SeveralCXCstalwartsincludingformer Chairmen Honourable Sir Roy Augier, The Most Honourable Sir Kenneth Hall, first female Registrar, Mrs Irene Walter and formerRegistrarDrDidacusJules,andlong- serving Technical Advisory Committee Chairman Professor Neville Ying attended the launch. Former Jamaican Prime Minister, The Most Honourable PJ Patterson delivered the feature address to a packed room of former CXC employees, CXC resource persons, ministry of education officials, current CXC staff and the media. Mr Patterson spoke on the theme “Regional Relevance: International Credibility,” and described the book, written by Professor Patrick Bryan as “a brilliant work of scholarship.” The former Prime Minister said the book represents a “struggle for scholastic emancipation and to refute any notion that we are incapable of creating, in the region, something which is superior to anything imposed from abroad.” Mr Patterson challenged regional educators to restructure the curricula to make education more of a problem-solving tool. “…It is suggested that examination questions be designed to determine abilities to understand, and use information in practical situations, to collate facts across disciplines, to find appropriate answers to real life problems, and reinterpret old questions in light of new facts,” Patterson explained. He also called for education to support the creative industries in the region: “Look at existing courses in order to package them better for the spread of the knowledge- based economy, and thereby contribute to the building of our creative and cultural industries as prime assets of the entire Caribbean,” the longest serving Jamaican Prime Minister noted. “If we put, as we must, the development of our human capital resources at the top of our agenda for national growth and development, then, creativity of knowledge and information has to be at the core of our reality,” he stated. In his wide-ranging address, Patterson endorsed the School Based Assessment (SBA) which is an integral component of CXC’s assessment. “The…School- Based Assessment…affords the flexibility of teachers in the choice of assessment methods; it allows students to be subject to continuous diagnosis, and it also permits credits for class work assignment,” he argued. Honourable Rev. Ronald Thwaites, Minister of Education in Jamaica, delivered an address at the launch and congratulated CXC on the publication of its history. Minister Thwaites said the publication of the CXC History “emphasizes the need for local and regional organisations to chronicle their own birth and maturity, which, I hope, will be taken up by many other institutions.” He added that the book about the 40-year old institution “defeats the notion that history has to be only about events a century ago.” Mr Glenroy Cumberbatch, CXC Acting Registrar at the time, who gave the closing remarks, said the book will raise awareness within the region about the work of CXC, which he described as a noble institution. Mr Cumberbatch said CXC is one of the successful regional organizations which has helped in regional integration. Speaking at the launch before he read some extracts from the book, former CXC Registrar Dr Didacus Jules posed the question; “So what is the big deal about the Caribbean Examinations Council that it should want to have its history written?” CXC®ChroniclesitsHistoryforPosterity A section of the audience at the launch of A History of the Caribbean Examinations Council 1973-2013
  4. 4. The Caribbean Examiner 6 MAY 2015 www.cxc.org Dr Jules offered two reasons for the publication of The History of CXC. “Firstly that it is OURS,” Dr Jules posited, “and that should mean something.” He argued that whereas the British examination boards were the ideological yardstick of the British imperial project, “CXCwasthecounter-hegemonicexpression of the political struggle of Caribbean people to shape their identity and to give value to that process.” The second reason offered by Dr Jules is that proffered by Professor the Hon. Errol Miller, who in his review of the CXC history book noted that the book is “an act of responsibility and accountability to Caribbean people and their governments.” Dr Jules, now the Director General of the OECS, explained that The History of CXC’s takes on more importance when one considers the context of its establishment. “The groundwork for the establishment of the Caribbean Examinations Council was being laid at a time when the West Indies Federation had only just fallen apart,” he explained. “…CXC could be considered to have been the re-emergence of the dream from its shattered fragments, but shorn of its political naiveté and shaped to functional utility.” Professor Patrick Bryan, author of the CXC History book, noted that the book afforded him the opportunity to “record for posterity, the origins, growth and development of CXC as a body, as a part-time educational institution, and as an organisation, whose records continue to provide critical statistical data on Caribbean education.” A historian, Professor Bryan said, “The establishment of the Caribbean Examinations Council in 1973 was a reflection of Caribbean intellectual currents that associated political independence with intellectual autonomy. The assumption was that overseas examinations could not capture the nuances of Caribbean culture or social and economic aspirations as defined by the people of the Caribbean.” CXC®ChroniclesitsHistoryforPosterity Professor Nigel Harris presenting The Most Honourable PJ Patterson with a copy of the book Professor Patrick Bryan signing a copy of the book while Professor Harris is looking on Sir Roy Augier (left), Professor Neville Ying (centre), and Mrs Susan Giles are all smiles as they chat at the launch Professor Harris presenting a copy of the book to Honorable Rev. Ronald Thwaites A History of the Caribbean Examinations Council 1973-2013 will be available in Caribbean bookstores from August 2015 and on the following websites from May 2015: https://www.createspace.com/4882163 http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=A+History+of+t he+Caribbean+Examinations+Council+1973-2013 http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=node%3D154606011&field-keywords=150081170X http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-history-of-the-caribbean-examinations-council-1973-2013-patrick-e-bry an/1121183061?ean=9781500811709
  5. 5. The Caribbean Examiner www.cxc.org MAY 2015 7 So what is the big deal about the Caribbean Examinations Council that it should want to have its history written? Admittedly, in the ordinary run of things, examinations are that necessary evil that we must all endure and perhaps nothing can be more boring than the history of an examinations board. But Cambridge Assessment has written its history and after all it is a few hundred years old; CXC is only an infant 40 something. So what is so special about CXC that it would display the conceit of its own written history? Two elemental reasons: firstly that it is OURS and that should mean something. Cambridge would have been nothing more than just another national examinations board had it not been for the expansive assertion of British Imperialism that recognised that the cultural hegemony of the Empire must be anchored in the minds and very being of the colonised and that its examinations needed to be the sole and single yardstick that would give currency to that process. Whereas Cambridge was the ideological yardstick of the British imperial project, CXC was the counter-hegemonic expression of the political struggle of Caribbean people to shape their identity and to give value to that process. A leading expert in assessment Allan Hanson (1994) asserted that “The individual in contemporary society is not so much described by tests as constructed by them,” but this is true whether we are speaking in historical terms or in contemporary terms. The second reason is that this history of CXC as our esteemed Professor the Hon. Errol Miller reminds us is “an act of responsibility and accountability to Caribbean people and their governments”. He has repeatedly expressed the view that: The Caribbean Examinations Council is one of the great accomplishments of the English- SpeakingCaribbeanintheeraofself-government and independence. CXC’s success resides in what its products are: common regional standards for the assessment of the cognitive outcomes of Caribbean secondary education that are recognised globally. The success that CXC is, has come about through functional Regional Corporation. What makes this story of the past so important for the future is the fact that the groundwork for the establishment of the Caribbean Examinations Council was being laid at a time when the West Indies Federation had only just fallen apart. This political context created insuperable psychological, conceptual and operational challenges for those visionaries who were bent on building something of regional value from the broken bricks of the Federation. Inthatregardtherefore,CXCcouldbeconsidered to have been the re-emergence of the dream from its shattered fragments, but shorn of its political naiveté and shaped to functional utility. I am reminded of Walcott who in reflecting on the nature of such a challenge said “Break a vase, and the love that reassembles the fragments is stronger than that love which took its symmetry for granted when it was whole.” When you read this history you will find that the compelling narrative excavated by Professor Bryan is far more that a story of educational accomplishment: • It reiterates the immense perspicacity of the founding parents of Caribbean independence and the farsightedness of the vision that they articulated. • It documents the dynamic and the contradictions of the effort to create and to ground the CXC in the regional and national landscape pointing to the struggles and the compromises that shaped the thing as we have come to know it. • Ithighlightsthefactthatthereareimportant lessons in this narrative for the weakening regional integration project. Reflecting on the story of CXC from where I now sit at the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), here are the lessons that I take away: “What is the big deal about CXC History?” Dr Didacus Jules asked and answered the question when he spoke at a launch of The History of CXC on 2 December 2014. BOOK REVIEW – Dr Didacus Jules What makes this story of the past so important for the future is the fact that the groundwork for the establishment of the Caribbean Examinations Council was being laid at a time when the West Indies Federation had only just fallen apart.
  6. 6. 8 MAY 2015 www.cxc.org • Success happens when dreams gain substance and aspirations start becoming tangible benefits – the history tells a tale of increasing confidence as students’ performance in CSEC proved to be on par with the GCE and this grows exponentially as international acceptance of the certification expands. • Real vision is not about painting a picture of the possible, but is about making possible what lies beyond the horizon – if the region had stuck simply to the possible, we would have ended up doing what some other countries have done: paying an external examinationboardtoofferalocallybranded certification but with local educators doing the work. • In seeking to supplant an exogenous initiative with something regional or indigenous in a high stakes arena, the new initiative must be conceived and implemented to standards and in a manner that manifests superior quality – this we see happening time and time again. CXC was the first regional and international exam authority to make school based assessment an integral element of its assessment model – to be subsequently adopted by Australia and then only lately by Singapore • An inescapable dimension of that effort must be a level of engagement with stakeholders that allows for the articulation of aspiration as well as the ventilation of fears – too often we mistakenly think that public sensitization is about EXPLAINING change to the public when it should equally be about LISTENING to public perceptions and modulating change to adjust to these perceptionswithoutabandonmentofvision. • Whensomethingisbuiltonafundamentally solid foundation, that bedrock makes future innovation easier… too often in our historical experience, progress is impeded by taking two steps backward for every step taken forward; too frequently we breakdown what was inherited in order to build from scratch something that is itself less enduring. We must never allow the sum of our fears to exceed the capacity of our potential. What is the supreme historical political irony that bedevils us? It is that the logic of regional integration is continually undermined by those who know better but are intent on promoting insular nationalism. Professor Miller cites the founding Chairman of CXC Dr Denis Irvine who stated that “One of the major challenges of CXC is trying to encourage national development simultaneously with Caribbean integration.” Professor Miller proceeded to note that “However, reading the History of CXC provokes the hypothesis that nationalism is the major challenge to Caribbean integration. Indeed, this seems to be more manifest in the larger countries – Jamaica, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago than in the smaller countries and in the Western Caribbean more so than in the Eastern Caribbean” This history chronicles the many twists and turns in the long road to the establishment of CXC and its effort to consolidate its presence. Read it for yourself and you will be astounded at the fact that even in the advanced stage of formation of CXC, there were those who were insisting on an extended period of tutelage for the fledgling institution under the controlling hand of Cambridge. This is the educational equivalent of a country seeking to declare independence from a colonial authority but asking that this same authority oversee the initial phase of independence! Ultimately, it is essentially a question of mental emancipation…. Do we have the self- confidence, the courage to define ourselves in a highly contested global space? The immortal lesson of Bob Marley is that we can. We can never get there by imitation but only through the valuation, the enrichment and the enhancement of that which is authentically ours. Our politics is infected by inter-territorial suspicion because there are those who well understand that it is easier to be a big fish in a small pond than to become a skilful navigator in a sea of wider opportunity. The march of globalization in today’s world is unstoppable and so relentless has been its momentum that even in countries that stand most to gain, efforts to contain it have conceded that the only alternative to unbridled globalization is regional solidarity. And so all over the world we see geographic alliances of different configurations seeking to create regional protection for individual countries. As challenging as our own effort to reassemble the fragments of the broken dream of regional unity has been, it is necessary to learn fromthehistoryofthethingsthathavesucceeded in bringing us closer together (such as CXC) rather than to be shackled by the differences that continue to divide us. I would like to end with profound thanks to Professor Bryan for this extraordinary labour of love and commitment and for this act of memory that can protect us from the ghosts of the Empire that still inhabit the corridors of our insecurity. It is those shadows of interior doubt which mislead us to believe that we can never create anything of value and which prevent us from truly becoming the indomitable global citizens that we are destined to be. It is my hope that as we read this history, we will discover within the sub-text, the lessons that can light the contemporary darkness in which we have found ourselves. Dr Didacus Jules is the Director General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and former Registrar of CXC. Whereas Cambridge was the ideological yardstick of the British imperial project; CXC was the counter-hegemonic expression of the political struggle of Caribbean people to shape their identity and to give value to that process. BOOK REVIEW – Dr Didacus Jules
  7. 7. The Caribbean Examiner www.cxc.org MAY 2015 9 BOOK REVIEW – Professor Emeritus Patrick E. Bryan CXC examinations (CSEC and CAPE) have largely replaced high-school examinations which for over 100 years were conducted by overseas examination boards, particularly the Universities of Cambridge and London. The establishment of the Caribbean Examinations Council in 1973 was a reflection of Caribbean intellectual currents that associated political independence with intellectual autonomy. The assumption was that overseas examinations could not capture the nuances of Caribbean culture or social and economic aspirations as defined by the people of the Caribbean. The idea of a Caribbean Examinations Council, originating during the federal period, was to be tested (like the federation itself) in the crucible of insularity, incipient territorial nationalism and a hesitant Caribbean nationalism. There is little doubt that some CXC founders cherished the idea of an integrated Caribbean, but had to settle for functional and pragmatic cooperation in such institutions as CARIFESTA, CARICOM, the CDB, and of course the CXC. The extended negotiations (between 1964 and 1973) leading to the establishment of the Council, and the six-year gap between the latter year and the first examinations in 1979, were indicators that reconciling the interests of the entire Caribbean would prove to be a non-stop challenge. The other challenge was that Caribbean conservatism regarded a Caribbean Examinations Council as little less than heresy, since attachment to Cambridge in particular was so ingrained and Caribbean educators and students were skeptical about the “portability” of CXC/CSEC certificates. In addition to replacing Cambridge and London, gradually, CXC also pursued a larger and a transformative role in regional education. Innovatively, CXC introduced General and Basic Proficiency examinations; school based assessment; and criterion rather than norm- referenced examinations. Expansion and consolidation of CSEC was followed by the introduction of CAPE in 1998 which was, structurally, a radical alternative to A’ Levels. CAPE and CSEC were influenced both by changing and available technology, and by inputs from regional governments. Globalisation, technological change, and from the late 1980s the demand for technical and vocational education, Education for All, and a “knowledgeable” work-force had an important impact on CXC syllabuses. The Caribbean Examinations Council, supported by candidates’ fees, government subventions and by strategic inputs from USAID, CIDA,Loméandothers,hasbecometheby-word for Caribbean examinations. CXC has adopted the maxim that survival and change are two sides of the same coin. There have been several changes over time in the administration. However, in the first decade of the twenty-first century CXC adopted a business model very comparable to that of businesses that seek survival in a globalized world. The path has sometimes been rocky; but CXC has demonstrated that regardless of Caribbean fractiousness there is still a Caribbean will to cooperate and succeed. Equally important is that the vision of its founders assumedcompromise,consultation,ademocratic structure and impossible (but achievable) deadlines. This study could not have been completed without the assistance of various libraries and collections that opened up their resources to me. I am grateful to the archivists at CXC Headquarters in Barbados, and at Caenwood in Jamaicaforputtingtheirtechnicalexpertiseatmy service; and equally important their amiability. The records of the Overseas Examinations Commission in Jamaica and those of the West Indian Collection at UWI Mona were useful. I wish to thank all those I interviewed: Sir Keith Hunte, Sir Woodville Marshall, Sir Roy Augier, Professor Nigel Harris, Mrs. Irene Walter, Dr. Lucy Steward, Mr. Glenroy Cumberbatch, Dr. Didacus Jules who gave of their time and did their best to identify my sins of omission and of commission. Finally, my thanks to CXC for offering me the opportunity to record for posterity the origins, growth and development of CXC as an examining body, as a part-time educational institution, and as an organization whose records will continue to provide critical statistical and other data on Caribbean education. Professor Patrick E. Bryan is Professor Emeritus in History at The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica and author of A History of CXC 1973-2013. CXC founders cherished the idea of an integrated Caribbean Professor Patrick E. Bryan
  8. 8. 10 MAY 2015 www.cxc.org Consummate historian Professor Emeritus Patrick Bryan was commissioned to produce A History of the Caribbean Examinations Council in celebration of its 40th Anniversary. However, he has done much more. Prof. Bryan has actually produced a hundred and fifty year history of external examinations in secondary schools in the Caribbean beginning with overseas examinations first done by a few high schools in Trinidad in 1863 to transition to Caribbean regional examinations done by the vast majority of secondary schools by 2013. The History of the Caribbean Examinations Council 1973-2013 actually tells the story of colonial beginnings of the assessment of the secondary schooling transformed by regional energies and relevance into evaluation with international credibility. Professor Bryan sets about his task methodically. He begins by sketching how the Universities of Cambridge and London through their syndicates came to establish themselves, during the period of the free colonial society, as the arbiters of standards for Caribbean high schools in their infancy in the latter decades of the 19th Century. He documents the small numbers of students actually enrolled in secondary schools taking these overseas examinations up to the middle of the 20th Century,theprideofobtainingBritishcertificates and the elation of some students placing first in the Empire. He also records the first echoes of resentmentandcriticismofoverseasexamination made by some of the most successful students of the systems, namely, Caribbean icons such as Norman Manley, Eric Williams and C.L.R. James. Bryan asserts that the movement to self- governmentandindependenceinthepost-World War II period was the source of change and that the short-lived West Indian Federation was the actual incubator of the idea of West Indian Examinations which, after the demise of the Federation by 1962, morphed into the idea of Caribbean examinations. Professor Bryan then describes with intriguing details the 25 years it took, from 1964 to 1989, to establish the Caribbean Examinations Council as a viable entity to compete with Cambridge and London examinations which had a hundred-year advantage, British pedigree and dominant market share. He breaks down the 25 years into four stages. The three years it took for the Working Party to trash out the foundation principles of Caribbean Examinations. The six years of negotiations principally between politicians, officials and educators to establish the Council in 1973. The six years taken by the Council to produce the first five subject examinations in 1979 and the decade it took the Council to roll out and market a range of subject examinations that matched the Cambridge and London offerings to Caribbean candidates. Professor Bryan dutifully documents the governance of CXC, its management structure, operational mechanisms, and, probably most importantly, the people who were charged with the task of establishing, managing and operating this successful regional educational institution from conception, through implementation to annual operations. He also documents the cooperation and competition between CXC and Cambridge, particularly, in the transition from overseas to regional external examinations. Cambridge had no intention of going away quietly. As the dominant player in secondary school examinations, Cambridge had to be beaten, and even then it has not been totally defeated. From a skeptical perspective it could be asserted that in commissioning a history of CXC to commemorate its 40th Anniversary, CXC was being sentimental and even self-serving. However, on critical interrogation it is an act of responsibility and accountability to Caribbean people and their governments and a record for posterity. The Caribbean Examinations Council is one of the great accomplishments of the English-Speaking Caribbean in the era of self- government and independence. CXC’s success residesinwhatitsproductsare:commonregional standards for the assessment of the cognitive outcomes of Caribbean secondary education that are recognised globally. The success that CXC is, has come about through functional Regional Corporation. The history that Professor Bryan has producedisnotonlyapioneeringreferencebook, but a provocation to find meaning. For example, Bryan quotes Dr Denise Irvine, Chairman of CXC 1975-1979, as stating that “One of the major challenges of CXC is trying to encourage national development simultaneously with Caribbean integration.” However, reading the History of CXC provokes the hypothesis that nationalism is the major challenge to Caribbean integration. Indeed, this seems to be more manifest in the larger countries – Jamaica, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago than in the smaller countries and in the Western Caribbean more so than in the Eastern Caribbean. Of the 18 countries that fall under the rubric of English-Speaking Caribbean, six are in the Western Caribbean and twelve are in the Eastern Caribbean. Of the six Western CaribbeancountriesBermudaneverjoinedCXC. The Bahamas joined but withdrew early and established its national secondary examinations that are validated by Cambridge. Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands have been in and of CXC and Jamaica’s nationalism had to be overcome by a combination of internal struggle and concessions. This would suggest that the history of CXC may have meaning for Caribbean integration that needs to be better understood. Then again the common experiences of Cambridge and CXC over the 150-year sequence seem to suggest that the providers of secondary school external examinations and their clients - Caribbeanschools,teachers,parentsandstudents - are not always on the same page. Examining bodies use very lofty educational principles as their rationale. However, parents and students take the examinations for very practical and pragmatic reasons which give pass/fail higher priority than profile. Also both examining bodies offered examinations at different levels. However, faced with change and competition only two levels have proven to have survival potential: examinations at the end of fifth form/Grade 11 and examinations at end of sixth form/Grade 13. Probably there are some lessons to be learned from this history. Hopefully the History of CXC as told by Professor Bryan will be a catalyst to further research. The regional template provided can readily be applied to histories of external examinations in each of the countries of the region. The Caribbean Examinations Council and Professor Emeritus Patrick Bryan have combined to produce fresh insight into Caribbean exertion to define itself authentically and take responsibility for its own destiny. Professor Emeritus the Honorable Errol Miller is a noted Caribbean educator and author. CXC History “an act of responsibility and accountability…” Professor Emeritus the Honorable Errol Miller reviews A History of CXC and concludes that CXC is “one of the great accomplishments of the English-Speaking Caribbean in the era of self-government and independence.” BOOK REVIEW – Professor Emeritus Errol Miller
  9. 9. The Caribbean Examiner www.cxc.org MAY 2015 11 BOOK REVIEW – Dr Wendy C. Grenade In the maze of the twenty-first century, the Caribbean is at a crossroad of old modalities and new challenges and possibilities. In this moment of uncertainty A History of the Caribbean Examinations Council 1973-2013: Regional Relevance and International Credibility is most valuable and timely. Written by Patrick E. Bryan, this book chronicles the evolution of CXC and the twists and turns of an indigenous Caribbean institution that is intrinsically linked to the broader search for Caribbean freedom and nationhood. The ten chapters of the book weave together a story that takes the reader to the early beginnings and the struggle against elitist education and external examinations that “were CXC History “Valuable and timely” “…this book chronicles the evolution of CXC and the twists and turns of an indigenous Caribbean institution that is intrinsically linked to the broader search for Caribbean freedom and nationhood.” not designed for the Caribbean experience as they were not sufficiently sensitive to a Caribbean consciousness.” The author then navigates through time and highlights key milestones along CXC’s forty-year journey: the critical 1979 examinations; CXC’s consolidation and expansion (1979-1998); the CSEC in Secondary schools; Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination; Education for all, (1998-2012); organizational changes and CXC’s legacy. This legacy includes international recognition and partnerships and a modernized examinations outfit underpinned by IT/ICT. Importantly, CXC’s legacy is an outstanding example of regional cooperation among small developing countries, despite internal contradictions and external adversity. As Caribbean people continue to search for genuine freedom, A History of the Caribbean Examinations Council 1973-2013: Regional Relevance and International Credibility is an urgent reminder of our resilient spirit and collective will to break with the past and unlock unlimited possibilities. Dr Wendy C. Grenade is a lecturer in Political Science at the Department of Government, Sociology and Social Work, at The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus.
  10. 10. The Caribbean Examiner 12 MAY 2015 www.cxc.org The Caribbean Examiner 12 MAY 2015 www.cxc.org Minister of Education in Jamaica, the Honourable Rev. Ronald Thwaites wants to see the exceptional performance achieved by the few Regional Top Awardees each year become the norm in the education system in the Caribbean. Minister Thwaites made the call while delivering the feature address at the 2014 Regional Top Awards Ceremony held at The University of the West Indies RegionalHeadquartersattheMonaCampus on Thursday 4 December. “We need to make the exceptional become the norm,” the Education Minister stated emphatically. “How can your [awardees] success become more the norm?” he questioned. He expressed the wish to see more top performers coming from a wide cross section of schools along with the traditional schools, and from other islands. Minister Thwaites’ comments were made against the backdrop of the 2014 awardees coming only from three countries: Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. “While we commend this year’s awardees, next year we expect to see among the top regional performers students from territories other than Jamaica, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago,” he explained. “Our challenge in the region is to broaden and deepen academic excellence among students,” Minister Thwaites stated. “As governments, we want to see more students performing excellently and thus flatten the apex of the pyramid.” But we take nothing away from the “Make the Exceptional the Norm” – Minister Thwaites CXC® Regional Top Awards Ceremony 2014 Minister Thwaites presenting Romario White of Campion College, Jamaica with his award Dr Leslie Simpson of CARDI presenting Ricardo Nugent of William Knibb Memorial School, Jamaica with the CARDI Agricultural Science prize Professor Harris presenting Ryhan Chand of Queen’s College, Guyana with her award
  11. 11. The Caribbean Examiner www.cxc.org MAY 2015 13 The Caribbean Examiner www.cxc.org MAY 2015 13 awardees this evening. You have done extremely well’. You have done yourselves, your families, schools and countries proud and we wish you success in achieving your career ambitions. Of the 2014 awardees, three were from Jamaica, four from Guyana and eight from Trinidad and Tobago. The Minister said CXC prepares students in the region for tertiary education anywhere in the world and is confident that Caribbean students can match their counterparts from around the world stride for stride academically. “Our young people, if given the opportunity to excel, will seize it; and they can meet the academic requirements of top level tertiary institutions across the globe. They can match the scholastic abilities of their counterparts anywhere,” the Minister added. Rev. Thwaites also commended CXC on its work over the past 40 years and added that CXC can hold its own among the examination boards around the world. He noted that the regional examinations body “has a very important role to play” in furthering the Caribbean’s educational development. Awards Ceremony The regional top awards ceremony and opening of Council was hosted at the The University of the West Indies Regional Headquarters at the Mona Campus. Cadets from the Caribbean Maritime Institute dressed in their smart white and black uniforms paraded the flags of the 16 CXC Participating Countries, backed by the melodious music of the Jamaica Constabulary Force Band. The speeches and presentations were punctuated with several performances included some comedy which kept the guests entertained. Students from schools in Guyana dominated the Regional Top Awards for outstanding performances at the CSEC, while students from Trinidad and Tobago continued their dominance of awards for outstanding performances at the CAPE. Four of the eight awards for CSEC went to students from Guyana, three from Trinidad and Tobago and one from Jamaica; while seven of the nine awards for CAPE went to students from Trinidad and Tobago and two to students from Jamaica. Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Elisa Hamilton led a trio of students from Queen’s College, Guyana as the 2014 Most Outstanding Candidate Overall in the region. Elisa received the award for her recording-breaking performance of achieving 20 subjects with acceptable grades. She achieved Grade I in 19 subjects: Agricultural Science (DA), Biology, Chemistry, English A, English B, Food and Nutrition, French, Geography,HomeEconomicsManagement, Information Technology, Integrated Science, Mathematics, Physics, Principles of Business, Social Studies, Spanish, Electronic Document Preparation and Management, Physical Education and Sport, Human and Social Biology, and Electrical and Electronic Technology, and Grade II in Religious Education. Another student from Queen’s College, Aliyyah Abdul Kadir received the award for the Most Outstanding Candidate in Humanities. Aliyyah achieved Grade I in 15 subjects – Agricultural Science (DA), Caribbean History, Economics, Electronic Document Preparation and Management, English A, English B, French, Geography, Human and Social Biology, InformationTechnology,IntegratedScience, Mathematics, Religious Education, Social Studies, and Spanish. Ryhan Chand, another student of Queen’s College, Guyana, copped the Business Studies award. Ryhan achieved Grade I in 13 subjects – Economics, English A, English B, Information Technology, Integrated Science, Mathematics, Office Administration, Principles of Accounts, PrinciplesofBusiness,ElectronicDocument Preparation and Management, and Physical Education and Sport, and Grade II in Religious Education and Social Studies. CXC®RegionalTopAwardsCeremony2014 Minister Thwaites presenting Nile Anderson of Mannings School, Jamaica with his award Mr Glenroy Cumberbatch, Registrar of CXC presenting Nneka Toni Jones of Bishop Anstey High School, Trinidad and Tobago with her award
  12. 12. The Caribbean Examiner 14 MAY 2015 www.cxc.org Kishan Crichlow of New Amsterdam Multilateral School also in Guyana received the award for the Most Outstanding Candidate in Technical Vocational subjects. Kishan achieved Grade I in seven subjects, Grade II in three subjects and Grade III in two subjects. He achieved Grade I in Chemistry, Information Technology, Mathematics, Technical Drawing, Building Technology (Construction), Electrical and Electronic Technology and Mechanical Engineering Technology; Grade II in English B, Physics and Social Studies; and Grade III in Chemistry and Geography. Nile Anderson of Mannings School, Jamaica won the award for the Most Outstanding Candidate in Sciences. Nile achieved Grade I in 13 subjects – Additional Mathematics, Agricultural Science(SA),Biology,Chemistry,EnglishA, InformationTechnology,IntegratedScience, Mathematics, Office Administration, Physics, Principles of Accounts, Spanish, Electronic Document Preparation and Management; and Grade II in three subjects – Economics, English B, and Geography. Three students from Trinidad and Tobago received awards for the Best Short Story, Best 2-Dimensional and 3-Dimensional Work in Visual Arts. Kristan Mohammed of Tunapuna Secondary School received the prize for the Best Short Story in the English A examination. Kristan’s story was based on a photograph depicting an abandoned building in a wooded area. Shivana Sookdeo of Naparima Girls’ High School walked away with the 2-Dimensional Visual Arts award with a piece entitled “The Enchanted River” from the Graphic Communication Design Expressive Form. The Chief Examiner said of the work, “A very good example of high quality illustration that establishes setting, defines and develops characters, reinforces the text, extends or develops the plot and establishes mood. This composition captures the essence of the story and brings the text to life.” “The format and layout works perfectly to transport viewers into the landscape of thetaleand guidethem through themagical attributes of the Enchanted River. Beautiful fluid lines and watercolour washes give the river life-like qualities allowing it to come alive through all of the senses.”  Nneka Toni Jones of Bishop Anstey High School is the recipient of the award for the Best 3-Dimensional Visual Arts. Toni’s work is from the Sculpture and Ceramics Expressive Form and is entitled “The Vendor”. The Chief Examiner stated, “Based on the elements of technical application, stylisticapproachandaestheticappeal,thisis an outstanding example of clay sculpture. It is technically well accomplished, exhibiting great skill and sensitivity to the material and modelling technique used…” The Chief Examiner added, “It is a very emotionally charged and insightful rendition of the Caribbean market vendor. The artist has successfully captured those characteristics of strength, warmth, industriousness, joviality and patience associated with these nation builders.” The CSEC awardees received an offer of a full scholarship from The University of the West Indies, prize money and plaques from CXC and dictionaries with CD-ROM CXC®RegionalTopAwardsCeremony2014 Regional Top Awardees at King’s House with His Excellency the Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen, Governor General of Jamaica (sitting right), Mrs Elaine Foster-Allen Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education (sitting left), and Mrs Irene Walter, former Registrar (standing left).
  13. 13. www.cxc.org MAY 2015 15 from Pearson Education as part of the prize package. Professor E Nigel Harris, then Chairman of CXC and Vice Chancellor of The University of the West Indies, explained that all the CSEC awardees receive a full scholarship from The University of the West Indies once they complete the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) to matriculate for the programme they wish to pursue. Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) Students from schools in Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica dominated the awards for the Most Outstanding Performance in the 2014 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE). Sushma Karim, a student of Naparima Girls’ High School, Trinidad and Tobago won the coveted Dennis Irvine Award, the symbol of academic excellence for the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE). Sushma captured the award by Ranissa Mathura of St Joseph’s Convent (San Fernando), Trinidad and Tobago receiving her award from Dr Carol Granston, Acting Pro Registrar of CXC Professor Nigel Harris (back row - 2nd from left) standing with CSEC Regional Top Awardees who are displaying their scholarship offer letters from The University of the West Indies
  14. 14. The Caribbean Examiner achieving Grade I in 12 Units: Applied Mathematics Units 1 and 2, Biology Units 1 and 2, Caribbean Studies, Chemistry Units 1 and 2, Communication Studies, Physics Units 1 and 2 and Pure Mathematics Units 1 and 2. Another student from Naparima Girls’ High School, Celeste Jaggai took the award for the Most Outstanding Candidate in Technical Studies with Grade Is in nine Units: Art and Design Units 1 and 2, Caribbean Studies, Chemistry Units 1 and 2, Physics Units 1 and 2 and Pure Mathematics Units 1 and 2, and Grade II in Communication Studies. Mandela Patrick, a student of Naparima College, Trinidad and Tobago, took home twoawardsonthenight:theawardsforMost Outstanding Candidate in Mathematics and MostOutstandingCandidateinInformation and Communication Technology. Mandela achieved Grade I in 10 Units with all A’s on his Module grades. He achieved Grade I in Applied Mathematics Units 1 and 2, CaribbeanStudies,CommunicationStudies, Information Technology Units 1 and 2, PhysicsUnits1and2,andPureMathematics Units 1 and 2. Two students from St Joseph’s Convent (SanFernando):ArifaSatnarineandRanissa Mathura took the prizes for Modern Languages and the Environmental Science respectively. Arifi achieved Grade I in CaribbeanStudies,CommunicationStudies, French Units 1 and 2, Sociology Units 1 and 2, and Spanish Units 1 and 2 for the Modern Language award. Ranissa achieved Grade I in eight Units – Biology Units 1 and 2, Caribbean Studies, Communication Studies, Environmental Science Units 1 and 2, and Geography Units 1 and 2. Sharda Goolcharan of Lakshmi Girls’ Hindu College continued the tradition of that school by taking the Business Studies award. Sharda achieved Grade I in AccountingUnits1and2,CaribbeanStudies, CommunicationStudies,EconomicsUnits1 and 2, and Management of Business Units 1 and 2. Romario White of Campion College, Jamaica received the Natural Science award with Grade I in ten Units with all A’s in the Module grades. He achieved Grade I in Biology Units 1 and 2, Caribbean Studies, Chemistry Units 1 and 2, Communication Studies, Physics Units 1 and 2 and Pure Mathematics Units 1 and 2. Another Jamaican student, Jozelle Dixon of Wolmers Girls’ School was presented with the Pearson Humanities Award by Mrs Denise Watts-Lawrence. Jozelle achieved Grade I in seven Units: CaribbeanStudies,CommunicationStudies, Geography Units 1 and 2, History Units 1 and 2, and Sociology Unit 1, and Grade II in Sociology Unit 2. CARDI Award Dr Leslie Simpson, CARDI Country Representative for Jamaica, presented Ricardo Nugent of the William Knibb Memorial High School in Jamaica with the CARDI Award for Most Outstanding Performance in Agricultural Science. Ricardo achieved the best subject grade overall in Agricultural Science Double Award. He obtained the highest composite score, best Profile Performance, and best Moderated SBA score. Courtesy Calls While in Jamaica, the awardees and a delegation from CXC and the Ministry of Education paid courtesy calls on His Excellency The Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen, Governor General of Jamaica; The Honourable Portia Simpson-Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica; Honourable Rev. Thwaites, Minister of Education; and Mr Andrew Holness, MP, Leader of the Opposition. CXC®RegionalTopAwardsCeremony2014 CAPE and CSEC awardees posing with their prizes 16 MAY 2015 www.cxc.org
  15. 15. The Caribbean Examiner 18 MAY 2015 www.cxc.org Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice Chancellor of The University of the West Indies, is the new Chairman of the Caribbean Examinations Council. Sir Hilary succeeded Professor E Nigel Harris in more ways than one; not only as Vice Chancellor of The University of the West Indies, but also as CXC Chairman. Professor Harris demitted office as Chairman of Council following the 46th meeting of Council held in Jamaica, and the meeting elected Sir Hilary as his replacement. Professor Harris was Chairman from 2006. As Chairman of CXC, Sir Hilary chairs all governance meetings of Council and its sub- committees including the School Examinations Committee (SEC), the Sub-Committee of the School Examinations Committee (SUBSEC), Final Awards Committee (FAC), and the Administrative and Finance Committee (AFC). Sir Hilary chaired his first governance meeting – Final Awards Committee – on Thursday 19 February 2015. He will hold office for a three-year period initially and will be eligible for re-election for another three-year term. Sir Hilary is the eighth Chairman of CXC, and on 1 May he also became the eighth Vice Chancellor of The University of the West Indies. Distinguished Academic A Barbadian, Sir Hilary started secondary school at Coleridge and Parry School, and completed his secondaryeducationatPitmastonSecondarySchool and the Bournville College of Further Education in Birmingham, England. He went on to the University of Hull, completing a BA (Hons) and a PhD with the Department of Economic and Social History. He returned to the Caribbean and joined UWI as a history lecturer at the Mona Campus in Jamaica in 1979, later transferring to Cave Hill in 1984. He was appointed as senior research fellow at the London-based Institute of Commonwealth Studies in 1986 and later became Chairman of the History Department at UWI in 1992, a role he served in until 1996. He was Dean of the Faculty of Humanities from 1994 to 1998. In 1993, at 37-years old, Sir Hilary became the youngest ever professor in the UWI system. He was named Pro Vice-Chancellor and Chairman of the UWI’s Board for Undergraduate Studies in 1998, and in 2002 was named principal of the UWI’s Cave Hill Campus. He has received numerous awards over the years, including in 2007 when he received the Knight of St. Andrew (KA), the Highest Official National Award of Barbados. Sir Hilary has published and edited over 30 books and monographs, written more than 70 articles, and seven stage plays. New CXC® Chairman Sir Hilary Succeeds Professor Harris CXC NEWS Sir Hilary is the eighth Chairman of CXC, and on 1 May he also became the eighth Vice Chancellor of The University of the West Indies. The Caribbean Examiner
  16. 16. The Caribbean Examiner www.cxc.org MAY 2015 19 CXC NEWS Mr Glenroy Cumberbatch became the sixth Registrar of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) effective Monday 8 December 2014. The announcement was made at the end of the 46th Meeting of Council held in Jamaica on Friday 5 December 2014. ABarbadiannational,MrCumberbatchjoinedtheCouncil on 1 September 2007 as Pro-Registrar based at the Council’s Western Zone Office in Jamaica, and acted as Registrar from May 2014 after the departure of Dr Didacus Jules, the previous Registrar. “Interesting experience so far,” Mr Cumberbatch said of his tenure as Acting and now Registrar. “I have been seeing things from a different perspective, and appreciating the work done by internal and external stakeholders to ensure CXC delivers on its mandate.” He said improved project planning and electronic marking have been two of the highlights of his tenure thus far. “The efforts and energies people have put into e-marking to ensure that it succeeds has been tremendous,” he stated. “They have helped us to refine and improve the processes in order to deliver at the standard and quality CXC is known for.” Mr Cumberbatch holds a Masters of Education (Science and Mathematics) from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus; a Bachelors of Education (Science and Mathematics) from the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom; and Certificates in Education and General Management from Erdiston Teachers Training College and UWI, Cave Hill respectively. A Barbadian educator, Mr Cumberbatch commenced his career in education in 1975 as a school teacher. In 1991 he moved to the Ministry of Education as an Education Officer with responsibility for Mathematics. In this role, he assisted with the development of Mathematics curricula, a remedial Mathematics programme and the implementation of workshops for teachers. Four years later, Mr Cumberbatch was appointed Senior Education Officer (Planning, Research and Development). He served for three years in this position, after which he was then promoted to the post of Deputy Chief Education Officer. In his various positions in the Ministry of Education, Mr. Cumberbatch has contributed to the development and implementation of education policies and programmes in Barbados. His responsibilities included budget preparation, coordination of activities in planning, research and development, Testing and Measurement and Management of Information Systems. He was also directly involved in the supervision and management of schools, student services and teacher evaluation. He served for a period as the CXC Local Registrar in Barbados. “My vision for CXC is for it to be the most proficient body in offering examinations to all levels and all ages in the region, including the Dutch-speaking territories,” the new Registrar stated. Looking towards the future, the new Registrar said “certifying more of the school-leaving cohort so that they are better prepared for further study and the world of work,”would be one of his major focuses. New Registrar Glenroy Cumberbatch My vision for CXC is for it to be the most proficient body in offering examinations to all levels and all ages in the region, including the Dutch-speaking territories. The Caribbean Examiner
  17. 17. The Caribbean Examiner 20 MAY 2015 www.cxc.org Top Awardees on the bus heading to Trelawny CXC NEWS The Caribbean Examiner
  18. 18. The Caribbean Examiner www.cxc.org MAY 2015 21 Elisa Hamilton Queen’s College, Guyana “You have been awarded the Most Outstanding Candidate Overall for CSEC,”the words echoed in my mind creating with each repetition greater delight. I was happy, no, I was ecstatic! It was like a dream come true. The good news did not stop there; I was later told that the awards ceremony would be held in Jamaica, how exhilarating! After many days of preparation, I was ready to embark on this long anticipated trip. I awoke long before the break of dawn to head to the airport.   A few hours into our trip we met one of my most beloved cricketers, Krishmar Santokie, at the Piarco Airport. After what appeared to be a long journey, we arrived at the Norman Manley International Airport. The reception there was astounding. The mountainous terrain coupled with the sun kissed blue water beaches was a marvelous sight to behold. Our tour guide/ driver helped to break the ice with his great sense of humour; from beginning to end, he did not disappoint. It felt as though I was about to enjoy three days in the life of a celebrity, because we had police outriders when we arrived at the airport, and everywhere we went, up until our departure. Not to mention, we lodged at the luxurious Pegasus Hotel. After settling in, we went to Kingston to do shopping. We were later officially welcomed over dinner that night and were given well needed advice,“sleep is only a concept”. Early the next morning, my colleagues and I went to the television station to take part in a segment of the Morning Show. This was quite an amazing experience as it was my first live television interview. Subsequently, we had to prepare for a fun-filled day at Chukka Adventures. Our destination was about three hours from the hotel so were able to capture a glimpse of various sites of this exquisite island while simultaneously gaining an insight into the history of the country. At the resort, we were engaged in many intriguing activities: we zip lined through what looked like a forest; we rode ATVs along both the dirt tracks and on the road; and we later enjoyed a calming float down the stream in an ‘air balloon-like’ canoe which was intensified as we flowed through the rapids. We were then treated to finger licking extremely, spicy jerk chicken; we took part in a final challenge and later headed back to Kingston after an arduous but worthwhile adventure. To say that this day was exciting would be an understatement. On the other hand, the third day was more of a formal one for us. On this day, we performed courtesy calls where we were given the honour to meet and interact with the Minister of Education, the Leader of the Opposition, the Governor General and the Prime Minister. Since we were finished quite early, we were able to do some swimming, after which time we prepared for the grand event.   The Regional Awards Ceremony, the moment we have all been waiting for, was finally here and it was perfect. I had a feeling of satisfaction and pleasure in knowing that I had made my family, school and country proud. To tell the truth, the officials and the past awardees we met, the entertaining programme, the delectable food, the breathtaking awards, the paparazzi- everything were magnificent. In contrast, upon returning to the hotel, I came to the stark realization that this incredible trip was drawing to an end. I woke up early the following morning in an attempt to take in the last of what would be one of the greatest experiences of my life. Further, upon being united in the hallway with my fellow awardees, we exchanged autographs and comments on each other’s program sheets and proceeded to say our final goodbyes. These individuals were extraordinary; it was as though we were one big family. Likewise, what was particularly interesting was to see how these individuals who were selected as the ‘crème de la crème’ of the Caribbean were not only academically inclined but had so many other dimensions to their lives, all of which, with the intermixture of culture that they brought from their various home countries, had helped to make this trip unrivaled with any other. It was hard to say goodbye, but we had to. To complement our trip, we were extremely fortunate to be on the same flight with the famous Dancehall artiste, Konshens, with whom we took a photograph in Barbados, on our way back home. This was a spectacular end to a fantastic journey.  We were, however, going home as better individuals than we had come, with even greater goals and challenges, as we were so immensely inspired. I must say, in closing, that the CXC body, our chaperones- especially Mr. Dwayne Goodison- our tour guide; and the hotel employees have all done a terrific job in making this one of the best experiences of my life and forever, one of my greatest memories. I am therefore extremely thankful, so much so, that words cannot begin to express my gratitude adequately. This was a spectacular end to a fantastic journey. We were, however, going home as better individuals than we had come, with even greater goals and challenges, as we were so immensely inspired.
  19. 19. The Caribbean Examiner 22 MAY 2015 www.cxc.org Celeste Jaggai Naparima Girls’High School, Trinidad I remember that day distinctly. I had just come out of a grueling Mathematics midterm and checked my phone to see about 10 missed calls from my mother. Anxiously, I called her back and she told me that I was the recipient of the Most Outstanding Candidate for Technical Studies in CAPE 2014. I could not believe it! That lifted my spirits immediately from the dreaded exam; but when I heard that CXC was sending me to Jamaica, I was over the moon. At the Norman Manley International Airport, all the top students greeted each other with smiles and congratulations on their esteemed accomplishment. I was beyond excitiment to embrace the Jamaican culture with its authentic music, people and most importantly, FOOD. Driving through the streets of Kingston, I was in awe that I was in the birthplace of so many legends. I felt like quite the celebrity being escorted by the police who moved traffic out of the way for us. The most adventurous thing I had done in a while would definitely have to be going to Chukka Adventures in Martha Brae Jamaica. Zip lining was exhilarating and riding the Dune Buggy brought out my inner daredevil. It was a great way to bond with everyone (even though I think I scared Nneka with my driving). The next day was dedicated to meeting all the esteemed dignitaries of Jamaica including the Governor General, Minister of Education, Leader of Opposition and the Prime Minister. I was honoured to be in the presence of such distinguished and influential people. It was truly the experience of a lifetime. The ceremony was indeed a prestigious occasion. Getting formally recognized for my achievement and delivering the Vote of Thanks was such an honour. It was a beautiful moment to share with fellow young brilliant people whom only after a couple of days, I really respected and believe can really make a positive impact on everything around them. This experience was unbelievable, overwhelming and extremely humbling. To meeting all the esteemed dignitaries, ziplining, eating jerk pork, being escorted nonstop by police, and casually meeting Sizzla and Konshens on the return flight, Jamaica was more than I could have ever asked for. Thank you CXC. Nile Anderson Mannings School, Jamaica There she stood at the door of the Chemistry lab, with a stern look on her face, of course I thought I was in trouble, and I quickly made my teacher aware that I had an experiment to complete. However, she decided to wait until I had finished cleaning my work area. I went to her prepared to receive a scolding, until she uttered the words“CXC Barbados called…”This news was the greatest and most unbelievable news I had ever heard. Even after being provided with proof, I still insisted for days that it had to be a mistake, but it was real, all so real. The fun I had meeting people from all over the Caribbean, being able to talk about our different cultures with pride and having fun together, being in the presence of dignitaries such as the Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Minister of Education, the Leader of the Opposition and the Governor General, it was all real. The realest of it all was standing on the stage representing my island paradise of Jamaica. It was the greatest experience in my life. I would love to re-live that moment. I pledge to continue working tirelessly just to have another taste of this dish called victory. Needless to say, it was really painful to part ways with my newly made Caribbean friends, my Trinidadian friend, my Barbadian friends and my Guyanese friends, but maybe one day I will see them again. TOP AWARDEES’ Jamaica EXPERIENCE The Most Honourable Portia Simpson-Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica and Nile Anderson embracing each other during the courtesy call
  20. 20. The Caribbean Examiner www.cxc.org MAY 2015 23 Sharda Goolcharan Lakshmi Girls’Hindu College, Trinidad “Congratulations, YOU ARE the number one business student in the CARIBBEAN!”were the words I heard from my teacher. My initial feeling was indescribable, but I was eternally grateful. I didn’t understand the reality of such. It was only when I was invited to Jamaica and the days leading up to the departure that the feeling of ecstasy developed. Upon arriving in Jamaica, the heart-warming welcome and hospitality by CXC and the Ministry of Education representatives as well as the locals were stupendous. They made every effort to ensure that I was comfortable and safe. It was surreal to be escorted by police throughout my stay which not only ensured that I was safe, but it most definitely made me extraordinary. One of the most uplifting and memorable experiences was the opportunity to meet with and engage in a personal conversation with the leaders of Jamaica. Such an opportunity is beyond incredible and it boosted my self-esteem whilst further motivating me to accomplish a lot more. I clearly remember Minister of Education saying“…with great power come great responsibility,”a quote by the famous Uncle Ben from the movie Spiderman, which reminded me of the high standards that is expected from me. Furthermore, I was completely overwhelmed by the reality of being a top awardee due to the extremity of the official award ceremony. The recognition of each Caribbean island gave me a sense of identity yet I still felt a strong surge of unity. The grandeur in which I was welcomed and escorted along with the high level of recognition at the function by influential dignities created a surge of emotions in me. What appealed to me the most was the bonds of friendship that I made with the awardees from various Caribbean islands. I knew absolutely nothing about any of the awardees upon arriving in Jamaica. However, it didn’t take a long time for me to become acquainted with them. The fun- filled drive to Chukka Adventures gave me an opportunity to view the picturesque island of Jamaica, while the bonding activities in which we engaged allowed me to experience the different personalities of each awardee, hence improving our communication and team work. The fact that I was given the opportunity to share a room with an awardee served to create a deeper bond between us. It was a bitter sweet experience as the days ended too soon, however, I enjoyed each moment of this trip. It will forever be written in my memory as a great milestone in my life. Ryhan Chand Queen’s College, Guyana Hands down, the most momentous and cherished occasions were shared with my fellow regional top awardees! Upon receiving the news of my stupendous performance, doubt congested my mind. I was always that soldier, lacking in self-belief. As the news was verified, however, my ego augmented or as they would say,“went from 0 to 100”. Receiving commendations and accolades from my school and country were truly overwhelming. Bringing it up a notch, the few days spent in Jamaica were undoubtedly eye-opening and gratifying. The mix of Trinidadian and Jamaican accents heard from the awardees, now close friends, served as music to my ears… not forgetting the sirens of our outriders! Who knew such unbreakable bonds could have been created in a matter of moments? Our late night chats about Caribbean culture at the Pegasus poolside linger in my thoughts up to this day. The many formalities included courtesy calls on dignitaries. I am most certain that the zip lining and ATV riding at Chukka Adventures were among the most blood-tingling and exhilarating experiences for not only me, but my fellow beneficiaries as well. The food – scrumptious, the people – welcoming, the experience – exceptional. The Jamaican experience was, as the saying goes,“irie”. I am absolutely grateful to CXC and all those who were involved in making this episode of my life, paramount. Female awardees are all smiles in the Jamaica Pegasus lobby before their departure
  21. 21. The Caribbean Examiner 24 MAY 2015 www.cxc.org Nneka Toni Jones Bishop Anstey High School, Trinidad Jamaica! Jamaica! Overwhelmed, dumbfounded and speechless are three words I would use to describe how I felt when I read the article. My friend told me she had a surprise for me. She calmly placed her laptop on the table, opened the article and positioned the laptop so that I could read. It was a Guyanese Newspaper article on the Internet paying tribute to the CXC Awardees for the year 2014. My eyes quickly picked up the words,“Top Regional Awardees for CSEC: Nneka Jones – Most Outstanding Performance for 3-Dimensional work in Visual Arts”and my jaw dropped. I was so excited to tell my art teacher the great news, little did I know she was keeping it a secret as my Principal wanted to have a special assembly for me. Seeing and hearing the entire of Bishop Anstey High School staff and students clap for me was perfect. I knew that I had not only made my school proud, but also Trinidad and Tobago. It was always a big dream of mine to visit the beautiful island of Jamaica and hear the Jamaican accent which I adore! The experience was even better than finding out that I was one of CXC’s Top Regional Awardees. Meeting the other awardees from Jamaica, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago was like meeting family. Although we were from different countries, it still felt as though we all had something in common. We were assigned personal police escorts for our bus which made us feel like royalty. Our first day was spent shopping in Jamaican craft shops. However, the second day was the best part of the trip for me! We visited Chukka Adventures where we participated in activities such as zip lining, challenge course, ATV and Dune Buggy rides, and ate some delicious Jamaican food when we were finished. Yum! It was a great honour to represent my family, Bishop Anstey High School, and Trinidad and Tobago, during the courtesy calls. Meeting the Minister of Education, the Governor General, Leader of the Opposition and Prime Minister of Jamaica was a great pleasure, and I must express my utmost gratitude for the inspiration they have given to me and my fellow awardees. I am truly grateful to have had this opportunity. The reward for my hard work was more than I could have even dreamnt, receiving and I know that none of it would have been possible without God, support from my family, my friends and my teachers. I left Jamaica with memories to last me a lifetime and friendships that I hope will grow stronger and last longer. The entire trip has inspired me to continue working hard and let my passion for art continue to grow. Kristan Mohammed Tunapuna Secondary School, Trinidad I was having a really bad day and was just about to turn loose my anger when I received a call from a friend showering me with a cheerful congratulation. In reply I awkwardly asked her why she was congratulating me. When she realized that I was totally clueless, she decided not to tell me so that the suspense would grow, which it painfully did. It was only later that day that I received the good news from my History teacher that I had won Best Short Story for CSEC. I was more than happy. It was a feeling unlike anything I had ever imagined. I felt the countdown for an explosion begin inside me. I felt immortal. Excitement overpowered my mind as the days died into weeks, only pulling the time closer. I constantly thought of how wonderful the trip would be and was not at all disappointed. In fact, from the very moment I set foot on the plane I could taste the greatness of the journey. And the anticipation of the ride ahead was such an incredible high. When we got to the hotel the rooms weren’t ready so I mingled with the other awardees who were all very interesting. I could feel the excitement radiating from their skin as well. On that same evening we went shopping in Kingston which was quite lovely, and then we returned to the hotel for a lovely orientation dinner. After the dinner, some of us went to the pool area where we exchanged some of the wonders and awe of our different cultures. Early the next morning we set sail on an enchanting trip to Chukka Adventures. We stopped a few times on the way to view some of Jamaica’s beautiful sceneries. When we got to the forested area of the park, I felt like Alice in a wonderful land over the hills and far away. We enjoyed activities such as zip-lining, tubing and ATV riding. The thrill of that entire adventure was intoxicating. The next day we paid courtesy calls to the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, the Governor General and even the Minister of Education. After, we had some time to spare so we enjoyed a brief swim in the Olympic sized pool at the Pegasus Hotel where we lodged. Then it was time for the grand celebration. At the ceremony I felt overwhelmed with joy. The best part was after the ceremony when lots of people were asking me to sign their copies of my short story. For that short moment, I felt like I was more famous than Lady Gaga herself. The next day was really sad and dramatic. I really hated saying goodbye to the chaperones and my“shiny”new friends. I shall forever remember them all. I slept through almost the entire trip back as the plane“swam”across the sea of clouds. From the moment my feet touched Trinidadian soil I missed Jamaica. TOP AWARDEES’ Jamaica EXPERIENCE Jozel Dixon and Nneka Jones striking a pose at a historic site in Spanish Town
  22. 22. The Caribbean Examiner www.cxc.org MAY 2015 25 Aliyyah Abdul Kadir Queen’s College, Guyana It was unequivocally the best experience of my life! My CSEC results revealed that I placed 9th position in Guyana and 5th in Queen’s College with 15 Grade Is; that was satisfaction enough for me. However, just when I thought it couldn’t get any better I was told even greater news. One afternoon while I was sitting in my law class blankly staring into midair, I saw a familiar face, my previous History teacher. As excited as I was to see her, she seemed far more ecstatic than I was. She shouted“congratulations!”from across the road. I was clueless as to what she was speaking about and it was then she told me the news,“You got the Humanities award!”I spun around to share the news with my friend, but at that time, the first people I wanted to tell were my parents. I believe that my success is dedicated to make them proud as they had the confidence in me throughout. Sharing the news with my friends and family was an enjoyable moment of my life. The next day, Guyanese became aware as the four top performers were interviewed. Being media personalities in August, October and December was indeed an honour. In one of the interviews I said,“I was happy because I did not only make myself, my family and my school proud, but my country as well.” I heard about the trip to attend the awards ceremony and was anxiously awaiting the grand day. Knowing that it was being held in Jamaica I was definitely expecting a wonderful trip. The night before our departure, I stayed awake packing my suitcase ensuring that my items corresponded with the itinerary, trying not to forget anything important. The day had finally arrived, I threw my camera strap around my neck and was ready to go! Arriving in Jamaica was a wonderful experience. The atmosphere was warm and welcoming and the people were all very friendly. We were taken to The Jamaica Pegasus where we enjoyed our stay. Spending a day at Chukka Adventures was definitely the best part of the trip. The road trip was long, but I had the great opportunity to visit historical sites in Spanish Town and observe the landscape and architecture of Jamaica. The adventure park was found on an old plantation called the Good Hope Estate and my burning passion for history was satisfied. I had a thrill of excitement as I challenged myself to do the zip line as well as tubing. The day of the award ceremony was very inspiring; I’ve never felt more important in my life. The royal treatment the awardees received would always be remembered as an utmost privilege. Driving around with outriders escorting our bus was special treatment enough but having the chance to sit in the Governor General’s ballroom hall, chatting with the Honourable Prime Minister of Jamaica and having a discussion with the Minister of Education and the leader of the opposition was definitely a prestige. The award ceremony was well organized and I appreciated every effort made by the Council. The singers and dancers did an excellent job at entertaining guests from near and far. I met up with old students of Queen’s College who are now studying at UWI, they were all proud of us. No words can describe the wonderful experience I had as a regional top awardee; it was a dream come true. My last moments in Jamaica were filled with mixed emotions; tears of joy and sorrow that I had to leave. I express my gratitude to CXC for allowing us such a great reward and enabling us to create lasting friendships. I encourage other candidates to put their best foot forward at all times. Indeed I was blessed with the chance to interact with students of other Caribbean countries; I felt the unity and blast of joy we shared. As I look back at all the pictures, I definitely have good things to say about each person I met in Jamaica and I have memories that would last a lifetime, such as Jamaican cricketer Krishmar Santokie and reggae artiste Konshens. Kristan Mohammed of Tunapuna Secondary School; Aliyyah Abdul Kadir, Queen’s College; Kishan Crichlow of New Amsterdam Multilateral School; and Nile Anderson of Mannings School
  23. 23. The Caribbean Examiner 26 MAY 2015 www.cxc.org Ranissa Mathura St Joseph’s Convent (San Fernando) Trinidad I first found out about my achievement while visiting my school during a short vacation. I was astounded and incredibly surprised because although I knew I did well, I was not expecting to receive a regional award. I was already studying in Jamaica and it was so exciting to meet with the Prime Minister and Governor General along with all the other parliamentary dignitaries. It was such an amazing experience to meet the other awardees, my friends now, and get to spend time with those amazingly talented individuals. CXC catered to our every need and facilitated us in every way they could thereby making that week one of the best experiences of my life. Such an incredible experience only motivated me to work harder and strive to attain even greater heights in the future. TOP AWARDEES’ Jamaica EXPERIENCE All smiles
  24. 24. The Caribbean Examiner 28 MAY 2015 www.cxc.org CXC® Launches OnlineStore The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) has launched its online bookstore, which now provides persons in Jamaica and the Caribbean, preparing for external examinations, with Internet, access to a wide range of academic resource material. 28 MAY 2015 www.cxc.org
  25. 25. The Caribbean Examiner www.cxc.org MAY 2015 29 The facility, which was launched at Jamaica College in St. Andrew on Friday, November 7, provides access to subject syllabuses and reports, specimen papers, and mark schemes, which can be downloaded on any mobile from the website – www.cxc.store.com, and used off line. The initiative, which is the CXC latest undertaking with longstanding partners British entity, MacMillan Publishers, through its Caribbean office, will provide material free of cost for 29 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and 28 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) subjects. Additional materials, outside of these subjects, which date back to 2005, are also available for people requiring these, but this will incur a cost. Speaking at Friday’s launch, CXC’s Acting Pro Registrar, Dr. Carol Granston, said the online book store’s launch “marks a significant milestone” in the organization’s efforts to “facilitate learning that is not confined to the highly formalized structure of classrooms, but shaped by the lifestyle of the Caribbean learner, that is, learning that can be done at anytime and at any place.” “Over the past decade, the use of digital technologies for teaching and learning has been increasing rapidly. As an examining body, CXC must remain current and relevant. However, despite the prevalence of digital technologies to ensure more wide-scale access, it is important that resources are available in multiple formats and…delivery modalities. As a result, the same resources that are available on the CXC Online Store, are also available in a number of distribution location islandwide, including bookstores,”she said. In this regard, Dr. Granston assured that the online store will support CXC’s drive to provide equal and equitable access to high quality learning support resources. “What we want to do is ensure that there is a level playing field for all students from all demographics…and (that all the resources) are available to you to help you (students) better prepare for the examinations, and also to help in our effort to support the teaching, learning, and assessment process,” she added. In his remarks, State Minister for Science,Technology, Energy, and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, welcomed the initiative, in particular the wide-scale access to academic material it will provide. “As a Government (Jamaica), we have invested a lot in including technology our education system.The Universal Service Fund (USF) has funded a number of programmes which have brought technology into schools,”he stated. These, Mr. Robinson reminded the audience, include the e-learning High school programme, which entailed over 200 computer labs being established in secondary schools islandwide; and the Tablets in Schools pilot project, targeting the distribution of 25,000 tablet computers in 38 institutions. In this regard, he expressed the hope that“we can see, in the not too distant, future some correlation between the availability of these resources and the performance of our students in CXC-related subjects.” Courtesy of the Jamaica Information Service and located at http://jis.gov.jm/cxc-launches-online-bookstore/ Dr Carol Granston, Acting Pro Registrar, CXC; Mr Daniel Wislon, Regional Sales Manager, Macmillan; Mrs Kate Heald, Caribbean Publisher, Macmillan engaging students as they test the CXC Online Store Students exploring the CXC Online Store at the launch in Jamaica Students from Ardenne High School enjoying one of the performances during the launch of the CXC online store
  26. 26. 58%CSEC 2015 Grades I-III 50%CSEC 2014 Grades I-III 49%CSEC 2013 Grades I-III The Caribbean Examiner CXC NEWS
  27. 27. Performance in the 2015 January sitting of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination continued the up-ward trend seen over the last two years. This year, 58 per cent of subject entries achieved acceptable grades, that is Grades I – III, compared with 50 per cent in 2014 and 49 per cent in 2013. Of the 13 subjects offered at the January 2015 sitting, performance improved in 11 subjects and declined in two subjects. Mathematics, the largest subject taken at this sitting, recorded substantially improved performance this year, with 65 per cent of the nine thousand subject entries achieving acceptable grades. Fifteen per cent of the entries achieved Grade I; 16 per cent achieved Grade II and 32 per cent achieved Grade III. Performance in both English A and English B continue to improve when compared with 2014. This year, 55 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades in English A, compared with 51 per cent last year.There was a ten per cent improvement in performance in English B. Seventy- January CSEC® PerformanceTrending Up one per cent of subject entries achieved acceptable grades this year compared with 61 per cent last year. Over 50 per cent of the entries achieved Grades I and II; 20 per cent achieved Grade I, 30 per cent achieved Grade II and 20 per cent achieved Grade III. In the business cluster, Principles of Accounts (POA) and Principles of Business (POB) recorded improved performance when compared with 2014. For POA, 59 per cent of subject entries achieved acceptable grades compared with 53 per cent in 2014, while for POB, 75 per cent achieved similar grades, compared with 71 per cent in 2014. The other business subject, Office Administration was one of the two subjects with a decline in performance this year. Fifty-two per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades this year compared with 76 per cent in 2014. Of the four science subjects offered at the January sitting, three recorded improved performance while performance declined in one. Sixty-one per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades for Biology compared with 53 per cent in 2014; 46 per cent achieved acceptable grades in Chemistry compared with 37 per cent in 2014, and 57 per cent achieved acceptable grades in Physics compared with 49 per cent last year. Performance on Human and Social Biology continues to decline with 27 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades this year compared with 34 per cent last year. There was a 12 per cent improvement in performance in Information Technology thisyearwhencomparedwithperformance in 2014. This year 62 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades compared with 50 per cent in 2014. Spanish and Social Studies had moderate improvement in performance when compared with 2014. For Spanish, 71 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades compared with 67 per cent in 2014, while for Social Studies 54 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades compared with 47 per cent in 2014. This year, 16,689 candidates wrote the January sitting and they submitted 40,938 subject entries. Entire Sitting E-marked For the first time in its history, CXC used electronic marking (e-marking) to mark all the scripts submitted in an examination sitting. All papers in the 13 subjects were e-marked by just over 600 markers in this year’s January sitting. This is to set the stage for the eventual move to full e-marking by 2017 when most of the CSEC and CAPE subjects will be e-marked. The Caribbean Examiner During the 2015 May/June sitting, 18 CSEC subjects and 12 CAPE Units will be e-marked. “The January sitting is relatively small and CXC felt that e-marking the entire sitting would provide some good insights into what is to be expected in May/June when we would have more subjects and more e-markers,” stated Mr Glenroy Cumberbatch, CXC Registrar. “As we plan for the May/June sitting, we will implement the lessons learnt from this exercise and adjust our plans and strategies before we roll out e-marking to other subjects in the coming years.” www.cxc.org MAY 2015 31
  28. 28. The Caribbean Examiner 32 MAY 2015 www.cxc.org CXC’s Footprints CAPE®DigitalMediaBy Cherryl Stephens and Alton McPherson
  29. 29. The Caribbean Examiner www.cxc.org MAY 2015 33 … picture and video creation and editing; …oral pitch and seeing how digital media is applied in real-world scenarios; …the opportunity to create a portfolio of the work they had done over the course - sense of achievement; …the chance to apply knowledge to producing actual digital content; …the ability to see possible roles and careers in digital media; …using software to edit and create photographic essays of portfolio work, creating the mobile apps; …creating websites. “Celebrating the Accomplishments Continuing the Journey”was the theme chosen by the Caribbean Examinations Council for its 40th anniversary in 2013. In June 2013, the CAPE Digital Media Syllabus was available on the CXC website, www.cxc.org, for teaching from September 2013 and first examination in May/ June 2014. Students from across the region were given the opportunity to develop skillsets necessary to create digital content and master digital media. Fast forward to July 2014, and 70 candidates successfully left a digital footprint of this theme on the Council’s landscape. The Caribbean Examinations Council was able to celebrate the milestone of hosting its first totally electronic examination and was well on its way to continuing its journey to producing graduates in the region with the relevant skillsets and knowledge base to support the emerging Caribbean digital economy. The CAPE Digital Media examination, both Internal and External Assessment components, were delivered electronically and marked electronically, successfully. Onehundredpercentofcandidates whowrotetheexaminationsweresuccessfuland are now graduates empowered to market their skills locally, regionally and internationally. Candidate Population Of the 70 candidates who wrote the first Digital Media examinations, 61completed Unit 1, DigitalMediaFundamentals, and nine completed Unit 2, Applied Digital Media. The candidates represented seven territories: Anguilla, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago. Of the seven territories that entered candidates for the examination, 30 per cent came from Jamaica. Seventy-one per cent of the candidatepopulationweremalesand29percent were females. The ratio of males to females was more than 2.5 to 1. The candidate population was drawn from a cross section of the types of post- secondary institutions in the region. Included were two community colleges, Sir Arthur Lewis Community College and Clarence Fitzroy Bryant Community College from St Lucia and St Kitts and Nevis, respectively. Three private secondary schools, Belleville Grammar School, Barbados; New Heights Limited, Jamaica; NorthGate College, Trinidad and Tobago; and traditional high schools, namely, Albena Lake Hodge Comprehensive School, Anguilla; Queens College, Guyana; Calabar High School, and Mona High School, Jamaica; San Juan North Secondary Figure 1: Candidates Writing Examination by Territory Students in their own Words CXC’sFootprints:CAPE®DigitalMedia
  30. 30. The Caribbean Examiner 34 MAY 2015 www.cxc.org CXC NEWS and St Benedict’s College, Trinidad and Tobago. Moreover,toemphasisetheflexibilityoftheCAPE programme, the teacher and the students at St Benedict’s College, who were in their final year, opted to do Unit 2, Applied Digital Media. The experiences of the teachers and students during the first year of implementation provided the Councilwithrichfeedbackontheextenttowhich the syllabus and the accompanying resources were able to fit into the different teaching environments across the region. Digital Media Teacher One of the early questions that was asked as the CAPE DM Syllabus was launched in September 2013 was who should/would teach this syllabus. A survey instrument which was electronically administered to the teachers of the CAPE Digital Media Syllabus at the end of the academic year revealed that the persons who actually taught the syllabus in the first year represented a wide field of expertise. It ranged from Creative Arts, Computing and Information Systems, Administration Management, Project Management, and Entrepreneurship. At the same time when teachers were asked what motivated them to introduce the CAPE DM Syllabus to their schools and students, 80 per cent of them were of the view that the syllabus exposed students to“skills relevant for life;”they feltitwouldcapture“theimaginationandinterest of their students.” One teacher was of the view that when students leave school they should be prepared for the world of work. CAPE DM would allow students to have “a skill set which they could use either to work for themselves or for a business.” Interestingly, 86 per cent of the teachers who implemented the CAPE DM Syllabus in the first year used a combination of face to face and online sessions, the remaining 14 per cent used face to face only. Syllabus Implementation Teachers indicated that for Unit 1, Digital Media Fundamentals, they enjoyed teaching the three Modules. They revealed that they particularly enjoyed Specific Objective 4 in Module 1, Understanding Digital Media that required students to discuss the importance of Caribbean content creation in the context of digital media. This objective allowed them “to shift the perspective from foreign consumption to Caribbean production and allowed them to introduce the concept of entrepreneurship and creativity to their students.” In Module 2, The Digital Media Ecosystem, Specific Objective 9, required students to present project proposals. This objective facilitated the sharing of school- based assessment topics and ideas and allowed “for rich feedback and whole class discussion, active participation and excitement.” One school videotaped this session and shared it with the other teachers in the programme across the territories. Module 3, Creative Solution Design, took students through“the creative process from ideation to implementation.” Students were able to apply the skills and techniques using image, audio and video to tell their stories. In Unit 2, Applied Digital Media, the teacher highlighted Module 1, Visual and Interactive Design and Module 3, Mobile App Development for honourable mention. She was of the view that taking students through the process of creating a digital media product was infactempoweringthestudentstofindsolutions to any issue once they followed the planning and brainstorming processes. Moreover, everything all came together by the time students were on the home stretch and about to hone all their knowledge, skills and techniques as they not only created their mobile app in Module 3, Mobile App Development, but also engaged their colleagues in their class and in the other …the students now see the importance of not only creating Digital Media, but of sharing it. …their ability to think and find solutions for local problems has become focused. …their vision as consumers changed and they are more aware of their rights as producers and users. At the school where I teach, the students are not exposed to creative tools because of the nature of conservative traditional religious beliefs. When the course was introduced the students had no idea how to use it and at the end of the course they were able to edit video, audio and photo files. I am extremely satisfied with their performance! They became more self-reliant because of the largely online mode of delivery. They gained digital media skills in stop motion animation, 3D rendering, eBook creation and many other practical skills that prior to the class they did not possess. They became comfortable with using online facilities as a means of communicating and getting information. Teachers in their own Words Marking the first Digital Media papers
  31. 31. The Caribbean Examiner www.cxc.org MAY 2015 35 classes across territories as they discussed the best approach to market and distribute their mobile application. Syllabus Support With the full knowledge of limited teaching expertise in the subject matter, the paucity of Caribbean-centric reference texts, CXC in collaboration with its civil-society partner Congress WBN, a Trinidad-based international non-profit organisation, embarked on a new, innovative approach that leveraged the same digital media the syllabus promoted by producing a Syllabus Resource Toolkit which was hosted on CXC’s website http://cxc. org/?q=node/8245. This Digital Media Syllabus Resource Toolkit included digital and physical teaching aids and a specially staged orientation video. This specifically targeted the Units and Modules of the DM Syllabus. The resource persons who facilitated the sessions in the video included CXC staff and members of the Syllabus Panel and industry experts who assisted in the development of the syllabus. Seventy per cent of the teachers indicated that they found the specially staged orientation videos useful but not very user friendly for the students. On the other hand the digital media resources and the infographics proved invaluable as there was not a lot of time to do a very comprehensive search for additional resources. Ninety per cent of the teachers who were teaching the DM syllabus used the online learning portal, Notesmaster, and 95 per cent of the participating teachers and 78 per cent of the student population did participate in an online tutorial to pitch their School-Based Assessment ideas, topics and brainstorm their approaches for conducting their assignments. It was an ideal forum to discuss best practices. This online tutorial laid the groundwork for an ongoing learning community which was created and nurtured on Notesmaster for the Digital Media teachers to meet and discuss issues, challenges, pose questions, seek solutions, ask advice as they navigated their way through the first year of teaching the respective Units. Challenges Teachers indicated that unreliability of Internet connection and capacity of labs in relation to number of students were the most challenging issues they encountered. Managing group work and the unavailability of some of the free software at school to complete tasks presented additional hardships. Performance In the end hard work did pay rich dividends. The results indicated in Figures 3 and 4 paint the picture. All the candidates who wrote CAPE Digital Media Units 1 and 2 were successful in their examinations. Ninety per cent of the candidates who completed Unit 1, Digital Media Fundamentals, obtained grades Ito III, with 41 per cent of the 90 per cent obtaining Grades I and II. In Unit 2, Applied Digital Media, 100 per cent of the candidates obtained Grades I to III. Unmeasurable Growth Ninety-six per cent of the teachers involved in teaching the CAPE DM Syllabus shared some of the changes they observed in their students as they participated in the activities required to complete the syllabus and prepare for the examinations. In their own words: At the end of the first year of its implementation the CAPE Digital Media Syllabus, one of CXC’s new generation subjects, is well on its way to making its contribution to harnessing the region’s human resource capital in a positive direction.We salute the graduating students and their teachers of the May/June 2014 CAPE Digital Media Syllabus. You will always be the first in the true sense of the word. Cherryl Stephens is an Assistant Registrar in the Syllabus and Curriculum Division, and Alton McPherson is an Assistant Registrar in the Examinations Development and Production Division. Figure 2: Overall Performance – Unit 1 Figure 3: Overall Performance Unit 2 CXC’sFootprints:CAPE®DigitalMedia Grade IV 10% Grade I 20% Grade I 11% Grade II 22% Grade Ii 21%Grade III 49% Grade III 67%
  32. 32. The Caribbean Examiner 36 MAY 2015 www.cxc.org CXC NEWS Barry University The number of universities and colleges in the United States offering credits for the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) continues to rise even as more Caribbean students present the advanced qualification for matriculation into US schools. Barry University, located in Miami Shores, Florida has published a CAPE policy. The school which was founded in 1940 offers credits for Grades I-V. Barry has equated a Grade I in CAPE to an A+ in its system; Grade II to an A; Grade III to a B; Grade IV to a B- and Grade V to a C. FormostCAPEUnits,Barryoffersthreecredits; however, for six Units, four credits are offered. The “Barry University is very honoured to have a strong presence among students from the Caribbean. These students are always very well prepared academically and emotionally for the rigours of university life.” Rick Wilkinson, Barry University’s International Office More US Schools Offering Credits for CAPE® six Units which command four credits each are Pure Mathematics Units 1 and 2, Biology Units 1 and 2 and Chemistry Units 1 and 2. Barry is also offering credits for some courses taken by adults who take advantage of the university’s adult and continuing education (ACE) programmes in the evenings. Caribbean adult students with CAPE Food and Nutrition, Law and Electrical and Electronic Technology will receive three credits each for these Units. “Barry University is very honored to have a strong presence among students from the Caribbean,” stated Rick Wilkinson, from Barry University’s International Office.“These students are always very well-prepared academically and emotionally for the rigours of university life.” “We hope to maintain and continue our relationship with this region.  One of many ways to achieve this is our respect for the academic demands of the CAPE curriculum,”Mr Wilkinson explained. Rollins College, located in Winter Park, Florida has published its CAPE policy in the school’s catalogue. According to Ed Bustos, Director of International Admission, “Each score of one (1) or two (2) on CAPE is worth four (4) semester hours of academic credit.” Mr Bustos pointed out that credit earned through CAPE does not exempt students from any of the general education curriculum requirements.
  33. 33. The Caribbean Examiner www.cxc.org MAY 2015 37 FSU Florida State University has published a “credit-by-examination policy for CAPE,” which shows 23 CAPE subjects and their equivalence to FSU’s courses. The natural sciences, French Units 1 and 2, and Pure Mathematics Units all attract four credits each while other units are awarded three credits each. Biology is equivalent to the courses BSC*NNNandBSC*NNNLatFSU.ChemistryUnits I and 2 are both equivalent to CHM*NNN and CHM*NNNL. Both Units of French are equivalent to FRE1. Physics Units 1 and 2 are equivalent to PHY*NNNC, while Pure Mathematics Unit 1 and 2 are equivalent to MAC*CCN. All these Units received four credits. St Leo Saint Leo University located in Tampa, Florida has also published a CAPE equivalency chart. The chart shows the equivalence of 18 CAPE subjects to courses offered at St Leo University. St Leo will accept Grades I-IV in the CAPE Units for which they have equivalent subjects. Most CAPE Units will attract three credits; however, some Units will attract more. Applied Mathematics Unit 2 will attract six credits and is equivalent to Mat-201 and Mat 251 at St Leo. Pure Mathematics Units 1 and 2 each will attract six credits at St Leo. Pure Mathematics Unit 1 is equivalent to Mat-152 and Mat-231, while Pure Mathematics Unit 2 is equivalent to Mat-231 and Mat-232. Both Units of Biology will be rewarded with four credits and are equivalent to Bio-240 and Bio-240L at St Leo. The subjects: Applied Mathematics Unit 1, Chemistry 1 and 2, Communication Studies, Computer Science, Economics Units 1 and 2, Environmental Science Units 1 and 2, Geography Units 1 and 2, and Management of Business Units 1 and 2 will attract three credits. MoreUSSchoolsOfferingCreditsforCAPE®Subjects

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