The Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate Examination (CSEC) is the standard end-of-term examination for fourth form students leaving high school. Since last year based on the Ministry of Human Development and Education’s means survey among Standard five students preparing for the Primary School Examination (PSE) and Third Form students entering fourth form, Government has subsidized the payment of costs for up to six examinations for all students. However, there has been a report that participation in the examinations is down this year. Could it be that students are skipping out on the examinations and leaving Government with the bill? Minister of Education Patrick Faber referred the question to the QUADS Unit but says that if the report is true, the students will see the worst impact later on.
“I am not aware of that to be honest. It might well be the case but I have not been briefed on that situation so I am not able to say definitively.”
“If so, would you say that it is related to the fact that now government subsidizes or contributes to the CXC and parents don’t really have to pay, so kids don’t really care much to take the CXC’s?
Hon. Patrick Faber
“Well if you are saying that less people signed up this year then I don’t think we can blame the government CXC payment program for that because we expect more people to sign up because it is being paid for. What we saw as the case was that many people did not sign up because they couldn’t afford to sign up. I would imagine that if that were the case, now that the government is paying for up to six, there would be an increase in the number of people taking them. There is always the question of the fact that, well the government is paying for it now, we sign up, actually showing up and sitting and taking the exam is a whole other question. Some people will say ‘ I am not going to lose anything because government paid for it. I am signed up yes, but the government already paid for it so if I don’t take it there will be no lost to me financially.’ I want to remind people that those who do that will some kind of penalty in the sense that your record will show that you did not turn up for these exams and you won’t have that to offer for some kind of credit to your name when applying to a job or you’re going on to some institution that recognizes the CSEC exam. It can go either way. ”
Results for this year’s examination are due in a few weeks’ time.