External exams next week

| 17/05/2009

(CNS): The John Gray High School and the Cayman Brac High School will remain open on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (18, 19 and 20 May) only for Year 11 and Year 12 students who are sitting CXC and GCSE exams. Students who will be sitting their exams on these days must come to school despite the holidays and should plan to arrive at school early. According to Fred Speirs, the CXC Local Registrar, Cayman Academy students and privately entered candidates will also be sitting CXC exams on those dates.

The George Hicks Campus and all government primary schools will be closed on Tuesday May 19 May to facilitate the setup for elections. School will resume as usual on Thursday 21 May.

The schedule of exams that will be taking place over those days is as follows:

• Monday 18 May (Discovery Day) – GCSE Maths, CXC Religious Studies, CXC Principles of Accounts
• Tuesday 19th May – CXC English, AS Level Spanish
• Wednesday 20th May (Election Day) CXC Maths, GCSE Spanish, GCSE PE

Grand Cayman Private candidates will write CXC exams at Cayman Academy, and Cayman Brac Private Candidates will write their CXC excams at Cayman Brac High School.

All CXC candidates are advised to be at their exam centres 30 minutes before the scheduled start of the exams.  CXC Exams start on all three days at 9:00am and 1:00pm.  In the case of John Gray High School, candidates writing exams on Tuesday and Wednesday are advised to ensure they go to the correct venue.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Urgent writes "Then the subjects being offered (without being snooty) didn’t seem to push excellence in academics just a bunch of fillers."

    I would suggest you talk to the teachers, as I did.  You will find that they have been told that it’s the number of passes which is important.  One of the ways to achieve this is to offer modular courses where exams can be taken as often as possible until the student gets the grade he likes, or, more importantly, the one the educational accountants like.  Imagine this in the world of work. "Ebanks, I’m afraid that’s the third time you’ve added up the amount in the till and the third time you’ve got it wrong." "I know, sir, but in school if I got it wrong, i got to do it over and over until I got it right."  What message are we giving our children?

    Some of these (England-based) exams are even coming under fire from teachers in England as they fail to challenge the most able students.  Witness the drift from GCSE to IGCSE (Cambridge International Examinations) by private schools in England in an effort to address the problem.  (State schools are not allowed to offer them.)  Even our educational leaders here admit that IGCSE is at least one grade harder than GCSEs, so let’s get rid of them to up the numbers.

    As you say, we need to hear from those at the chalkface – or it the interactive whiteboard these days?

  2. Urgent says:

    Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 05/17/2009 – 23:09.  you are correct my figures were for JGHS only which I did mention. CBHS has done consistently well and averages 80+% with 5 or more passes. However we are talking about less than 30 students each year so we would REALLY need to be concerned if their results were as poor as JGHS. Catholic school has also shown exemplary results and I believe last year was a record breaking results year for them as well.

    My main focus was JGHS because we are churning out 250+ students a year with only 30% getting the kind of grades worthy of pursuing higher education – what happens to the remaining 70% how are they able to successfully compete in the workforce?? The other thing that confuses me are the different types of exams being offered.  When I signed up for Coaching for Success I was astounded by the different types of exams 1 student was taking, there was no consistency. Then the subjects being offered (without being snooty) didnt seem to push excellence in academics just a bunch of fillers…Alot of the students I mentored seemed to have been just pushed through the system with no thought or care about their future. I wonder if this new curriculum addresses these issues?

    The teachers seems frustrated to me and that some of them really do not appear to give a rat’s a@@ about the students. I walked across a fight and I noticed that the teacher simply walked by without a care in the world completely ignoring the ruckus. I simply stepped in and told them to break it up and there was some rude whispered comments but for the most part they broke it up. A lot of the students were also complaining to me about some of the teachers as well. 

    I just wonder if the proper feedback is getting to the Minister/Ministry or is it the same situation in the financial services industry where this Govt and particularly this Minister seems to know it all and does not foster positive working relationships. We need the solutions to match the problems or else we are simply creating new problems….

    I could go on but I would love to hear from people who are actually in the trenches what is the problem?? Believe me this is a very important subject to me so if they say they need help I will most surely do my part. 


  3. Anonymous says:

    It is my belief that grades are so poor due to the fact that teachers seem more interested in proper school uniform such as color of belt or short socks vs. long socks than in actually teaching things the youth need to have a productive future.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Urgent is perhaps taking the statistics from one school and interpreting that as a parameter.  Cayman Brac High School, for example, produces excellent 16+ results, but one does not read of their results as being indicative of the country as a whole.

    Until we start producing data which reflects the country’s overall performance – by including the results of students from the private schools – we will continue to tilt at educational windmills.  At least two of our private schools consistently attain outstanding 16+ exam results because of their competitive entry policies.  They consequently attract academically inclined children of parents who can afford the fees.  Children with moderate to severe learning or behavioural problems are "encouraged" to go elsewhere, as those schools don’t have the level of profesional support staff to handle them, or charge extra for the services.  Children who can’t "pass" the entrance tests go to the government schools.  Children whose parents are forking out $8,000 a year in school fees are more likely to do better because there is greater parental interest in ensuring that they get their moneysworth.  The added reality is that many of those "private" children are Caymanian and deserve to be included in the national data.

    And let us not forget the government policy which requires non-national children to attend private schools.  While this may be justifiable now, due to a severe lack of accommodation, one hopes it will be relaxed when the new schools open, so that talented students can feed off each other irrespective of national origin.

    Urgent is probably correct with his observation in his final paragraph.  As long as there has been full employment in the Cayman Islands, there has been no need for education to be valued. The sea-going tradition has not been replaced with one which places a value on education.  There is a literacy drive going on in our schools.  Money has been invested in reading specialists and new reading programmes.  But take a step into many of our school libraries.  Even worse, take a step into our homes.  Where are the reading materials to back up what is done in school lessons? I read that one of the local Rotary Clubs has been able to obtain funding for the Bodden Town Primary School Library.  But should this not be a government responsibility?  And don’t tell me it’s a low priority.  Until something is done to produce generations of functionally literate graduates the education problem will remain with us.


  5. Urgent says:

    I pray that these students are successful in these exams.  I would be most interested in hearing the words and thoughts on our educators as to why the passing grades at JGHS are so consistently poor. What are the most recent results that are available? I went onto the brighterfutures website and found exam results from 1999 to 2006 and the highest pass marks for those students with 5 or more O’levels/CXC passes with grades of A* to C is 30% in 2006. 30% is extremely POOR!!! The average pass mark over that 8 year period is 23%!!!!! Pathetic.

    Then to hear seasoned politicians and aspiring politicians claiming that education is not important is very despicable and quite disheartening on this campaign trail. Our problems are clearly deep rooted and $200 million on buildings are simply not enough to solve the problems. What is the problem?

    I personally believe a major contributor is that there is no real emphasis placed on Education in the homes and in the similar light that the Leader of the Opposition can make his statements I believe a lot of Caymanian parents feel the same and do not instill the importance of education from an early age. I have seen small strides but overall it seems that the mentalitythat "foreigners" are the cause of all our problems and there is no accountability on our parts and until we change that mentality we are always going to be second class citizens in our country… We have to take back our island but we are going to have to WORK and EARN it back!!!!