Top young brains in 2014
The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) reports positive trends in examinations throughout the region
Al Parillon of the St. Mary's Academy (SMA), who resides in Fond Cole, has obtained 11 grade ones and 2 grade twos; he is Dominica's top performer in this year's Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) exams.
Treading behind him were Kaele Benjamin, Tiffany Johnson and Tojya Vital of the Convent High School (CHS) all obtaining 10 grade ones. In addition, Lou-Ann Lawrence of Castle Bruce Secondary, she received 9 grade ones and 3 grade twos; Munnirh Marie of Convent High School obtained 9 grade ones and 2 grade twos and Devon Brewster of Portsmouth Secondary School obtaining 9 grade ones and 2 grade twos.
"My immediate reaction I was astonished, I did well very well I did not do as I wanted I wanted to get 13 ones at first 11 ones and two twos is a generally great result," Parillon said.
He added that his preparations were tough and he made many sacrifices to achieve such results.
"For example, dropping karate. I was originally in karate and football at the same time. I had to drop them to attend other classes. My studying time I had to increase them, and it includes some sleepless nights where I had to do certain projects and assignments," Parillon stated.
He added: "Based on my success, I would like to give the message to upcoming students that they have to put the preparation in, they have to be determined. If you want to get your grades and good result you have to put the time in you have to put the sacrifice in and you will reap success. I guarantee it," said Parillon.
He said he wants to a computer software engineer specializing in operating systems.
Kaele Benjamin of the CHS told the Sun that she stayed up late nights and woke up early on the holidays in addition to the support of her family for her success at the 2014 CSEC Examinations. She aspires to be a gynaecologist.
Overall 38 students received 6 grades ones and above, 19 of these students came from the CHS.
The other top performing schools were: SMA, Dominica Grammar School, Castle Bruce Secondary, Seventh Day Adventist Secondary, Portsmouth Secondary, Isaiah Thomas Secondary and North Eastern Comprehensive.
CSEC Performance in the Region Continues Upward Trend
Meanwhile, the CXC reports that the overall performance for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) May/June 2014 examination continued the gradual upward trend started in 2012. This year, 66 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades, Grades I – III. This compares favourably with 65 per cent in 2013 and 62 per cent in 2012. Of the subjects offered, performance improved in 12, declined in 19 and remained constant in five.
Physical Education and Sport was the subject with the best overall performance. Ninety-nine per cent of the ten thousand entries achieved Grades I-III, compared with 94 per cent last year. Theatre Arts had the next best results; 94 per cent of the seventeen thousand entries achieved acceptable grades compared with 93 per cent in 2013. Food and Nutrition caps off the top three best performing subjects with 91 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades.
English and Mathematics
Performance in the English and Mathematics offerings also continued the positive trend from last year except English B which had a marginal decline. This year English A saw a one per cent improvement over last year's performance. Fifty-nine per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades compared with 58 per cent last year and 47 per cent in 2012. Seventy-two per cent of entries for English B achieved acceptable grades compared with 73 per cent in 2013 and 68 per cent in 2012.
Mathematics saw the most improved performance of all subjects offered in 2014 compared with 2013. Forty-nine per cent of entries achieved Grades I-III, which is a 14 per cent improvement over 2013 when 35 per cent of entries achieved similar grades; and 16 per cent improvement over 2012.
The Subject Awards Committee attributed the improved performance to improvement on most areas on the examination with the exception of trigonometry and geometry. Additional Mathematics, in its third year, recorded an improved performance over the two previous sittings. Seventy-six per cent of entries achieved Grades I-III this year compared with 70 per cent last year and 58 per cent in 2012.
Of the science subjects, performance improved in Chemistry and Physics and declined in Biology, Agricultural Science Double Award (DA), Agricultural Science Single Award (SA), and Human and Social Biology. Sixty-eight per cent of entries for Chemistry achieved Grades I-III compared with 62 per cent in 2013, while for Physics there was a 10 per cent improvement with 77 per cent of entries achieving Grades I-III compared with 67 per cent in 2013.
Both Agricultural Science DA and Agricultural Science SA saw significant decline in performance this year. For the Double Award, the percentage of entries achieving acceptable grades fell from 96 in 2013 to 75 this year, while for the Single Award, the percentage fell from 93 per cent in 2013 to 78 per cent this year. For Biology and Human and Social Biology there was a two-percentage point decline; Biology dipped to 72 per cent, from 74 per cent last year and Human and Social Biology dipped to 62 per cent, down from 64 per cent last year.
All the subjects in the business cluster recorded declining performances of varying degrees. Seventy per cent of entries for Economics achieved Grades I-III compared with 81 per cent in 2013. The Subject Awards Committee noted that questions relating to the business environment, exchange rates, economic integration and balance of payments posed challenges to candidates.
For Principles of Accounts, 68 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades compared with 75 per cent in 2013. Principles of Business had a four per cent decline year on year with 75 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades compared with 79 per cent in 2013.
Office Administration had a five per cent decline with 73 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades this year compared with 78 per cent in 2013. Candidates were challenged by topics such as financial services, closing stock, and operating balances, the Subject Awards Committee reported.
Performance in Electronic Document Preparation and Management (EDPD) remained the same as last year's – 86 per cent of the entries achieved acceptable grades.
The subjects in the expressive arts cluster with the exception of Visual Arts recorded improved performance when compared with 2013. Ninety-nine per cent of the entries for Physical Education and Sport achieved acceptable grades, compared with 94 per cent in 2013. Music saw an eight per cent improvement with 78 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades compared with 70 per cent in 2013. Theatre Arts saw a slight improvement, from 93 per cent of acceptable grades last year to 94 per cent this year. Performance on Visual Arts declined by eight per cent – 69 per cent of entries achieved acceptable grades compared with 77 per cent in 2013.
Technical and Vocational
There were mixed performance in the technical and vocational subjects. Performance in Home Economic Management and Technical Drawing improved by seven per cent and three per cent respectively. Ninety per cent of entries for Home Economic Management achieved acceptable grades this year while 83 per cent achieved similar grades in 2013. For Technical Drawing 77 per cent achieved acceptable grades this year and 74 per cent achieved similar grades last year.
Food and Nutrition saw a marginal decline from 92 per cent of Grades I-III in 2013 to 91 per cent this year; Building Technology – Construction also saw a one per cent decline – 80 per cent this year compared with 81 per cent last year.
Both Electrical and Electronic Technology and Mechanical Engineering Technology had a five per cent decline in performance: Electrical and Electronic Technology dropped from 62 per cent in 2013 to 57 per cent this year, while for Mechanical Engineering Technology performance fell from 75 per cent in 2013 to 70 per cent this year.
Eighty-one per cent of entries for Clothing and Textiles achieved acceptable grades in 2014 while 72 per cent achieved similar grades in 2013, while for Building Technology – Woods 76 per cent achieved acceptable grades in 2014 and 82 per cent achieved similar grades last year.
The subjects in the Humanities cluster saw decline in performance this year when compared with 2013. Social Studies saw a ten per cent decline in performance – 58 per cent of entries achieved Grades I-III compared with 68 per cent in 2013. Performance in Caribbean History dipped from 68 per cent in 2013 to 62 per cent this year. Both foreign languages, Spanish and French saw marginal declines – French dropped one percentage point from 77 to 76 and Spanish dropped from 70 per cent in 2013 to 66 per cent this year.
Performance in Geography remained steady over the two-year period at 67 per cent. The Subject Awards Committee noted once again that there is a general weakness in map reading, physical geography and exposure to field work. During the Final Awards Committee meeting it was noted that several teachers of Geography are not Geography graduates and this impacts their ability to adequately deliver the syllabus.
The number of candidate and subject entries declined this year. Candidate entries fell from 149,311 in 2013 to 142,884 this year, while subject entries moved from 616,447 in 2013 to 603, 383 this year.
Mathematics was once again the largest subscribed subject with 98,542 entries, followed by English A with 94,106 entries. The next largest subject entry was Social Studies with 50,027 entries. Principles of Business is in fourth with 34,883 and Human and Social Biology fifth with 31,450 entries.
The age group 19 years and over comprised the largest single cohort of candidates, 31 per cent, while the 17-year old age cohort accounted for 29 per cent of candidates, 16-year olds 20 per cent and 18-year olds 14 per cent.
Forty-one per cent of the candidates who registered for the 2014 examination were male and 59 per cent female.