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Published 10th November 2020, 1:9pm

The Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports, Agriculture and Lands (MEYSAL) in collaboration with the Department of Education Services (DES) has released the provisional results for the 2020 examinations for Government Schools, pending the outcome of reviews to be conducted by the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC). Results indicate an improvement over the past four years as demonstrated by the number of Year 11 and Year 12 students who gained 5 exam passes at Grade I, II or III (Level 2 qualifications).

“Our students have performed exceptionally well given the challenges of the lockdown, including the transition to 100% remote learning and the change to the exam schedule. This speaks volumes for the level of support provided by our Government School educators, support staff and of course, their parents and guardians. The dedication that our students displayed in persevering through unchartered waters cannot be understated. The resilience and tenacity of our valiant students should be a source of pride for every Caymanian,” declared the Minister for Education, Honourable Juliana O’Connor-Connolly.

In the core curriculum subject areas of English, mathematics and science, growth has been maintained over time. Provisional results also indicate that the number of students achieving a Level 2 qualification in English reached an all-time high of 86.4%, up by 8% over the previous year of 78%. Performance in mathematics while continuing to be uneven, also realized modest gains reaching 54% over the 2019 figures of 52%. The number of students achieving at least one science subject at Level 2 reached an all-time high of 71%. It should be noted that there was a dip in 2019 performance of 58% but students made a comeback of a 13% increase in 2020 and this also represents a 4% increase over the previous high of 67% obtained in 2018.

“Overall, we are showing modest gains from year-to-year attributed to strategies and interventions that have been implemented,” reported Acting Director of DES, Ms. Tammy Banks-DaCosta. “Success of these strategies and interventions is proven based on other clear indicators. This cohort’s 2019 performance in English was 75.3%, which is slightly higher than the student performance statistics in England which was at 61.8% in 2019. Additionally, we have three students from the Clifton Hunter High School who achieved Top 10 Merit status regionally in the CSEC May - June 2019 examination series. Diamond Chambers ranked 9th in the region in Human and Social Biology and also tied with Joshua Peart for the 7th place rank in Integrated Science. Aaliyah Powell who was an early entry in Year 10 , ranked 9th in Electronic Document Preparation.” Ms. Banks-DaCosta added.

During the month of October, a total of 330 students successfully graduated from the Government’s secondary school system and Lighthouse School. 157 of those graduates achieved their diploma with Level 2 ‘Honours’ and ‘High Honours’. Level 2 ‘Honours’ indicates that a student achieved 7 exam passes with Grade I, II or III, or the grade equivalent in accepted exams other than CSEC. Level 2 ‘High Honours’ indicates 9 passes at Grade I or II, or the grade equivalent in accepted exams other than CSEC. The subject area passes obtained must include English and mathematics.

Addressing the timing of the official release of examination results this year, the Acting Director of Department of Education Services, Ms. Tammy Banks-DaCosta further reported some of the setbacks experienced as a result of the pandemic. “The 2019-2020 academic year was absolutely impacted by the Coronavirus Covid-19 Pandemic. This resulted in delays in the administration and awarding of grades by some external examination bodies. When grades for the CXC were issued in September, a number of candidates across the region voiced concern about the process and the grades received and requested reviews of their grades. As a result, the CXC Chairman commissioned a review of the entire process for the 2020 examinations, and a report titled, ‘Report of the Independent Review Team: Review of the Administration of the 2020 CSEC and CAPE Examinations by the Caribbean Examinations Council’ was subsequently produced and shared with member territories. The Cayman Islands Government Schools have submitted a total of 69 requests for review and we await final review by the CXC.” explained Ms. Banks - DaCosta.

The deadline for territories to submit reviews was extended until November 6, 2020 however CXC has already commenced the review process. DES advises that all results for the Cayman Islands should be considered -provisional until the results of the review process are communicated from CXC. However, any potential changes that result from these reviews will not affect the results negatively.

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