Sunday, 17 February 2019

Latest National Exam Result Disappointing

Student performance declined in more than half of the 27 Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) exam categories, with students continuing to average D’s and E’s, respectively in English language and mathematics, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Education.

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According to Education Minister Desmond Bannister, who addressed the media at a news conference at the Ministry of Education, 34.3 percent of the 5,373 students who took the English language examination received a grade of C or above, while only 24.6 percent of the 5,200 students who took the math BGCSE exam received a C grade or above.

That means that 65 percent of the candidates who sat the English language exam received a D grade or below and 75 percent of students taking the maths exam received a D grade or below.

Those two subjects were highlighted as areas of challenge by Education Director Lionel Sands.  The ministry yesterday only released selected portions of the 2011 BGCSE and Bahamas Junior Certificate (BJC) exam results.  Last year at this time it released the entire results reports for both exams.

“The subjects that we are most concerned with are the maths and English language,” Sands said. “These have perennially been problem subjects for us and we have been working very hard to ensure that the problems that we are confronted with, that we deal with them in terms of our instructional programs every year.”

In the government school system, teachers could teach up to 105 students for maths and 120 for English, Sands said.

The Department of Education does not have a sufficient compliment of teachers to teach the subjects of maths, physics, chemistry and several other technical areas.  Sands said the ministry relies on bringing in teachers from abroad.

Other subjects where there was a decline in performance include: art and design, biology, economics, French, geography, keyboarding, music, office procedures and religious studies.  The average exam grades were not provided for those subjects.

There were improvements recorded in 11 of the BGCSE subjects tested including: literature, book-keeping and accounts, carpentry and joinery, clothing construction, combined science, chemistry, physics and Spanish.

Results in graphical communications remained unchanged from 2010.

Bannister also provided information on the subjects of physics, Spanish and biology.

He said 62 percent of the candidates received a C or above in physics; 65 percent in Spanish; and 39.5 in biology.

In total, 937 candidates received at least a C grade or above in five or more subjects, which is a new record, according to Bannister.  In 2010, there were 921 candidates who achieved that mark; and in 2009 there were 834 candidates who received the higher grades.

Bannister added that 1,554 candidates received five or more BGCSEs with a D grade or above, which is a slight decrease as compared to 2010.  That year, 1,582 students received a D or above.

Bannister insisted that D is an average grade.

“We commend our students’ achievement and wish them continued success in their academic pursuits,” Bannister said.

According to Bannister, 7,327 candidates registered to sit the BGCSE exams, a slight increase compared to the 6,960 candidates registered in 2010.

Regarding the BJCs, approximately 9,015 candidates registered to sit the exams.

Bannister said the average for five of the 10 BJC subjects improved when compared to 2010.  These subjects included: general science, health science, social studies, and technical drawing.  The fifth subject was not named.

Results declined in English language, maths and religious studies, according to Bannister. 

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