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Published 14th October 2013, 12:14pm

The Minister of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs’ Statement to the Legislative Assembly on National Exam Results Monday, 14 October, 2013

It gives me great pleasure to update this Honorable House with the final exam results, as have been confirmed to me by the staff of the Ministry of Education and the Department of Education Services, for the 2012-13 academic year.

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, at which I delivered the welcome address, the final results appear to have now all been received and verified by staff at 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.

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 (ie. 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.

I therefore ask Honourable Members to join me in congratulating our students for a job well done. 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. Parents, voluntary organizations, and our private sector partners also share in the present successes 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 student 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 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.

I would like to take this opportunity to highlight the tremendous contribution that the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre has made to these outstanding results. 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. This year I welcome CIFEC’s emphasis on incorporating work place readiness, allowing all students to undertake a formal study of employability skills.

Finally, I would like to pass on thanks and congratulations on behalf of the Chief Officer, Mrs. Mary Rodrigues and the Chief Education Officer, Mrs. Shirley Wahler to all of our students and the educators in the system who have worked so hard in often challenging circumstances to set the stage for this achievement.

Hon. Tara Rivers, MLA
Minister of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs