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September 16, 2022
Pass rate falls in 2022 CSEC

The overall pass rate for St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) in the 2022 May/June Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC)has plunged a whopping 16.93 per cent compared with 2021.

The Ministry of Education, in a release issued September 15 said the preliminary results indicate a 66.55 per cent pass rate. In 2021, the pass rate was 83.48 per cent.

The pass rate this year is the lowest the country has recorded since 2009 when SVG recorded an overall pass rate of 66 per cent.

In 2020, the pass rate was 81.86 per cent and in 2019, 74.33 per cent.

The preliminary results were made public almost two weeks after they were received by the Ministry of Education because of what was described as “discrepancies” that had to be rectified by the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC.)

In a September 9 interview with the Agency for Public Information, Minister of Education, Curtis King said that the issue the Ministry had this year with the results was that there were some “abnormalities” and some issues that had to be resolved before the Ministry could do a proper analysis of those results and share them with the public.

He said there were students at some schools, “where the entire classes in a particular subject/s received what is referred to as ungraded for the particular subject/s.”

The minister also said that “this isn’t a situation where one or two students suffered from the issue nor one school was affected.”

Therefore, given the magnitude of the issue, he believed that the Ministry had to resolve it before releasing the results.

An official of the Ministry of the Education told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday that most of the discrepancies have been resolved.

In relation to the decline in the overall pass rate, the official said several factors may have led to the decrease in students’ performance, including online classes during the COVID-19 pandemic, the eruption of La Soufriere, the return of Paper 2 and the changing of teachers mid-stream for some students.

The official said while the fall in overall pass rate is not limited to SVG, the technical staff in the Ministry is looking at the results to see what interventions can be taken going forward.

“There was also a change in dynamic that may have occurred during the two years this cohort was being prepared for their exams. From one thing, into the next, into the next,” the official said.

In 2020, when the world was grappling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, candidates across the region who registered for the CXC examinations were only assessed on their performance in Paper 1 (the multiple choice exam) and their School Based Assessment (SBA).

Then, in 2021, Vincentian students were again only assessed based on Paper 1 and the SBA, because of the disruption to schools following the eruption of La Soufriere during the time of preparation for the May/June 2021 exams.

During those two examination years, the pass rates among Vincentian students were in excess of 80 per cent.

This year, candidates returned to writing the Paper 2 (long paper) exam in addition to Paper 1 and the School Based Assessment.

Some students also faced disruption during the 2021/2022 school year after some teachers were deemed to have abandoned their jobs after they refused to take the COVID-19 vaccine after it became mandatory for them to do so.

This year, 10 schools obtained pass rates of 60 per cent or greater, with the Girls’ High school taking the top spot with a 96.88 per cent pass rate. In 2021, 24 schools obtained an overall pass rate in excess of 60 per cent and in 2019, 18 schools obtained pass rates in excess of 60 per cent.

The nation’s highest overall pass rate in the last 13 years was 87.62 per cent in 2016.