No decision yet on discontinuing some CXC subjects in Jamaica – OEC Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

The Overseas Examinations Commission (OEC) has issued a statement addressing what it said was “the premature release of information” regarding the discontinuation of certain subjects offered by the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC).

The OEC acknowledged that the untimely release of the information has caused concern among education stakeholders.

However, the commission clarified that a decision to remove the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) subjects from the Jamaican secondary schools’ curriculum has not yet been taken.

As reported in the media, the subjects in question include agricultural science (double award) and mechanical engineering at the CSEC and CAPE levels, as well as electrical and electronic engineering, and technology and green engineering.

Of note, CEO of CXC, Dr Wayne Wesley, in an interview on Nationwide 90FM, had said agricultural science general paper will still be offered to students across the region. 

Of the subjects to be suspended, effective September 2025, Wesley said the decision was taken due to decline in subject engagement and low enrollment numbers.

But, according to Wesley, the subjects will still be available to ministries of education across the region for administering to students, but at an additional cost.

When the news broke on Monday, social media users expressed grave concerns over the developments. 

“We inna serious trouble. Arts alone can’t move the world… Lucky I was lucky to do agricultural science double award, which is considered as two subjects,” said a user on X, formerly Twitter. 

“Not every school offers them (the subjects) because they don’t have the labs/workshops to teach the subject. Mech (Mechanical) Tech needs lathe machines, power drill, welding machines, etc,” a man pointed out.

A woman shared that, “This is disappointing and I hope that CXC does reconsider their stance, because the world is headed towards technology and skills-related fields.” 

In responding to those and other concerns on Tuesday in a statement, the OEC said a correspondence from CXC’s office was directed to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Youth (MOEY), Dr Kasan Troupe, regarding the suspension of subjects and was copied to the OEC for information purposes. 

“MOEY’s team was stymied by the untimely release of the information and would have had the option to decide on a course of action, based on consultative meetings with key stakeholders such as principals and other operatives of the MOEY,” the commission stated.

In light of the leak, the OEC said it “regrets this impetuosity”.

While CXC has provided an advisory on the discontinuation of the aforementioned subjects, OEC said “a decision to remove them from the Jamaican secondary schools’ curriculum has not yet been taken”. 

Added the commisssion: “The CXC has advised that territories or groups of territories across the Caribbean region may decide to maintain the subjects as a part of the suite of certification options for terminal exams, but such territories will be allowed to do so under certain conditions.” 

According to the OEC, the Ministry of Education and Youth will be meeting with stakeholders ahead of the new academic year to discuss the matter and ensure a consensus in the best interest of the nation’s youth.

“The OEC remains committed to serving all key stakeholders of the education sector as we ensure continued commitment to the integrity of our education system and engagement with our key stakeholders,” the release stated.