August 19, 2014
Number of persons sitting CXC suite of exams continues to decline

The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) will be investigating the reasons why there continues to be a decline in the number of persons sitting their suite of exams.

During the regional results announcement ceremony, which took place yesterday at the Peace Memorial Hall,{{more}} members of the Council indicated that the number of candidates for exams, including Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC), Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) and Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC), continues to have a downward trend over the past years.

According to Susan Giles, senior assistant registrar for the Examinations Administration and Security division, there is an “eight per cent decline on the candidates and a five per cent decline on the subject entries” for CSEC.

“We are going to be investigating why, because we recognize that it may be something to do with the economic climate in the region, among other things we know. We did a preliminary study among local registrars and we are seeing a number of different responses to this,” Giles said.

“We are watching this very closely, because as you know, this is our flagship examination and we need to have this either steady or growing.”

In his report, the acting registrar for CXC Glenroy Cumberbatch revealed that the number of CSEC candidates peaked in 2011, when there were 150,000 candidates. With the steady decline, only about 140,000 candidates now sign up for CSEC.

However, the acting registrar revealed that despite the decrease in candidates, the number of subjects taken by any one candidate is increasing.

While the decline is being observed on a regional scale, a decrease in candidates for CAPE and CCSLC in St Vincent and the Grenadines has also been observed.

“There was a steady decline in the number of persons actually writing CAPE examinations down to 2014 as compared with the rest of the region, where it has continued to increase to almost 30,000 candidates in 2014,” Cumberbatch said, while noting that this country peaked in the number of candidates in 2011.

“For the CCSLC, there is a general decline in the number of persons writing CCSLC. That decline is also shown in St Vincent and the Grenadines.”

While delivering the feature address, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said a reason why our enrollment numbers may not be as high as in some other years is because some students now no longer go through the A level system but instead go into the Associate Degree programme.(BK)