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Government schools are celebrating another year of progress, as the 2012 external examination results for Year 12 students reached a new national high.

Published 20th September 2012, 10:23am

Government schools are celebrating another year of progress, as the 2012 external examination results for Year 12 students reached a new national high.

According to Chief Education Officer, Mrs. Shirley Wahler, in 2012, 49% 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 45% last year and 27% just 5 years ago.

This means that 168 graduating students achieved these standards. 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.

Year 12 students at the Layman E. Scott Senior High School continued to significantly outperform the national average, with 70% achieving 5 Level 2 passes. This was a further improvement over last years performance of 65%.

Its important to look back to where we have come from, to appreciate the value of what has been achieved over the last few years, Mrs. Wahler said. It is exciting to see more and more of our students realising their potential and achieving high standards, gaining the sorts of qualifications that will open the door to scholarships and access to higher education, she said.

Education Minister, the Hon. Rolston Anglin, JP, said that he welcomed the results. I am delighted that our children continue to improve and take advantage of their opportunities. We are not yet where we want to be, but we are certainly moving in the right direction. Our children are capable of the highest levels of success; we have to really believe it, help them and their families believe it, and then provide the right policies, systems and support to help them soar, he said.

In the 2011 Education Stabilisation Plan, I recall commenting on the 2010 national results, which stood then at 39%. Improving these standards became one of our key goals, Minister Anglin stated.

Minister Anglin noted that there have been many interventions since that time, which have had a positive impact.

We have conducted national campaigns on valuing education and implemented policies which tackled issues such as the large number of students who were only being entered for just a few examinations, or for lower level examinations. Adding academic criteria for graduation has sent a strong message to students and parents that achievement matters. The Further Education Centre (CIFEC), and the opportunities it provides for re-sits and new examinations, has also made a tremendous difference. In addition, CIFEC continues to offer a greater challenge for our most academically able students, who have entered UCCI or A level programmes one year early, and have excelled.

Minister Anglin explained that these kinds of system changes have been complemented by lots of hard work at school level. We all owe a great debt of gratitude to the principals of our high schools and other senior managers and teachers in our system, who have put in the time and effort to give our students every opportunity to succeed, he said.