CXC about-turn: Exam body reverses decision to cut subjects Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) has reversed its decision to discontinue four subjects at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) levels, due to low enrolment.

CXC will continue to offer syllabuses for CAPE Green Engineering, CAPE Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technology, CSEC Agricultural Science (Double Award), and CSEC Industrial Technology – Mechanical Engineering. 

CXC Registrar and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Wayne Wesley gave the update during a virtual press conference on Tuesday, following a meeting with ministers of education from across the region. 

“The meeting with the ministers of education demonstrated our shared commitment to find a critical path forward on this matter, given the pressing education and human capacity development imperatives facing the region,” Wesley said.

He shared that CXC has rolled out a menu of new-generation technology and science syllabuses.

“Some are not yet in desired demand. Governments will work with CXC in building demand for these new programmes to enable their cost viability,” he pointed out.

Wesley further shared that Tuesday’s deliberations with the ministers reinforced the need for a collective regional marketing thrust to promote the priority subject areas in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics (STEAM) education and climate-smart agriculture, which are considered critical for the economic growth and sustainable development of the region. 

Wesley said the ministers were forthright in their positions, pledging their support for CXC and requesting more direct lines of communication. 

“CXC is committed to ensuring its communications protocols afford the ministers of education greater line of sight of high-level policy recommendations for decision-making,” he added.

Meanwhile, Minister of Education and Youth, Fayval Williams has welcomed the reversal. 

“We are happy to report that the subjects will continue for the benefit of our students and our respective countries. We will continue to focus on upskilling teachers in these subject areas and building awareness of our students to the opportunities in these subject areas,” she noted. 

During a post-Cabinet press briefing on May 29, Williams said the ministry understands the value of the subjects, especially in light of the declaration of Jamaica as a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) island by Prime Minister Andrew Holness.