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CEO Shirley Wahler with CO Mary Rodrigues and Councillor Winston Connolly

There is no doubt that the hard work and dedication of our public education system teachers was a major contributing factor to these results.

Shirley Wahler

Published 16th October 2013, 12:26pm

For yet another year, external examination results for Year 12 students reached a new national high, but this year the celebrations are even more justified than those of the past five years. Subsequent to the release of the provisional results at the teachers welcome event on 26th August, the final results have now all been received and verified by staff of the Ministry of Education and the Department of Education Services, and show that the 2013 results have jumped dramatically, far outstripping even last year’s record results.

          Speaking during the Legislative Assembly budget debate on Monday, 14 October 2013, the Minister of Education, Hon. Tara Rivers stated, “According to the information provided by the Chief Education Officer, Mrs. Shirley Wahler, in 2013, 69.5% of Year 12 students leaving the government system attained 5 or more Level 2 passes (O’ Level equivalent at A*-C at GCSE/IGCSE or I-III at CXC), compared with 49% last year and 29% just 5 years ago. A total of 384 students completed Year 12 in 2013 at John Gray High School, Clifton Hunter High School and Layman E. Scott, Sr. High School.” Continuing she said, “It is fitting that these final results are being made available now, as we celebrated World Teachers Day just this past weekend. There is no doubt that the hard work and dedication of our public education system teachers was a major contributing factor to these results”. She also added that parents and the wider community share in the present success as vital stakeholders in the education system.

          In real human terms, the results mean that 267 graduating students achieved the 5 or more level 2 pass benchmark standard. In 2007 that number stood at 88 and has grown steadily every year since, making a significant leap in 2009, when numbers first exceeded the 100 mark. Last year, 168 students achieved this standard. In other words, the number of students reaching the benchmark has grown by over 200% in just five years.

          One of the real triumphs of this year’s results were the CXC English grades, with more than 67% of all Year 12 students achieving a Level 2 pass (Grades I – III). This compares very favourably with the regional result of students entered for CXC English, with 57% of students entered for English across the Caribbean earning a Level 2 pass. 

          Results in mathematics have also shown considerable improvement this year, though this is still an area of concern and focus for improvement. 37.5% of students in the entire cohort this year achieved the Level 2 pass in mathematics, a significant improvement over last year’s result of 26%. Regionally, 35% of students entered for exams in mathematics achieve this standard, although CXC only reports on those students entered for CXC exams, not on all students in the cohort.

          The Minister also took the opportunity to highlight the tremendous contribution that the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre has made to these outstanding results. She said, “Year 12 students from Clifton Hunter High School and John Gray High School have the opportunity to complete further academic and technical studies at CIFEC. I have been advised that of the 267 students who met the benchmark standard of 5+ passes, 110 of those met that standard because of their additional studies at CIFEC, with 119 additional Level 2 qualifications being earned in maths and English. CIFEC students also shone in their technical and vocational studies with 200 students earning an internationally recognized Level 2 qualification in a technical/vocational area.” She particularly welcomed the emphasis on work place readiness that has been incorporated at the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre, where all students now undertake a formal study of employability skills. 

          The Minister extended thanks and congratulations on behalf of the Chief Officer, Mrs. Mary Rodrigues and the Chief Education Officer, Mrs. Shirley Wahler to all the students and educators in the system who have worked so hard in often challenging circumstances to set the stage for this achievement. Reached for comment Mrs. Wahler stated “As an education service and as a community we need to recognize that the work of teachers is often difficult and undervalued, but these results are a testimony to the enormous hard work that has gone into improving our education system.” Mrs. Rodrigues added, “This is an important milestone on the journey to building a truly world-class education system for all our students. It is an appropriate moment to pause to recognize the achievements made as we refocus on even greater triumphs.” She also noted and welcomed the rising expectations for school success from parents and from students themselves.