Almost half government students getfive high passes

| 20/09/2012

dmbtest.gif(CNS): Exam results at the government high schools reached a new national high this year when close to half of all Year 12 students attained 5 or more Level 2 passes. Chief Education Officer Shirley Wahler said that 49% of students leaving the government system in 2012 reached five O’ Level equivalent atA*-C at GCSE/IGCSE or I-III at CXC, compared with 45% last year and 27% just 5 years ago. Students on Cayman Brac once again significantly outperformed their peers on Grand Cayman with 70% of them achieving five Level 2 passes. The education minister admitted there was still some way to go for the national average but welcomed the continued improvement.

Across Cayman’s government schools 168 graduating students got five high passes compared to 88 in 2007.

“It’s important to look back to where we have come from to appreciate the value of what has been achieved over the last few years,” 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.”

Education Minister Rolston Anglin welcomed the results but said students were capable of even more.

“We are not yet where we want to be, but we are certainly moving in the right direction,” he said. “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.”

Anglin said there had been many interventions 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,” he explained.

“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.”

The system changes have been complemented, the minister said, 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 added.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    subtract the brac results and grand cayman's numbers are pooooor!

  2. Anonymous says:

    The govt spends our taxes on colleges and universities overseas for some of our youth while financially strangling its own college and using it for political purposes.
    Why should my children who wish to remain here be given the same scholarship as those who spend theirs at much wealthier colleges in the US? Does the US give scholarships to its own to study here? No way! Bring our tax dollars home for higher ed.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I still don't understand this concept of graduating as long as you show up for the required amount of days that is needed to graduate from school.  Really, you can go to school and twiddle your thumbs all day and still graduate.  

    I still think we should adopt the American system which is you don't graduate unless you pass the required amount of classes: 4 years English, 4 years Math, and 4 years of Science.  They also have a number of years for electives but I don't remember how many.  I know Florida used to require 2 years of a foreign language as well.

    They also had a system of Advanced classes which were college level courses and they counted towards college credits.  

    I'm happy that my son were in the top students that graduated but I would like to see this happening with all or at least 90% of our children.  We don't need to dumb things down for the children.  Children learn differently so teach them differently.  Have tutoring sessions or whatever is neccessary but let's get more children passing their exams.


    CNS: Anglin ends ‘free’ graduation

    • Jumbles says:

      Or we can go the English system and just do aay with the nonsense of "high school graduation" completely. 

    • Anonymous says:

      "The first CINQF qualification band — Entry Level — is equivalent to upper primary standards. Following that is the Level 1 qualification band, which includes passes at CXC and CSEC grades IV – VI; and GCSE/IGCSE grades D through G. Passes at this level are equivalent to achievement at a Middle School/Junior High standard."

      This is the part that I don't understand.  If you are in high school why are you taking Middle School/Junior High standard exams?

      CNS: Thanks for the link but we must also make note that this isn't in place till 2014 which is 2 years from now.

  4. Tribble says:

    The Cayman literacy rate would put it about 103rd in the world, if Cayman was an independent nation.  That would be below Equitorial Guinea, and just above Lesotho.  No more needs to be said about how awful the public education system is.

    • Anonymous says:

      and some people still wonder why we need expats???

    • Anonymous says:

      You seem to be using a CIG estimate Cayman's literacy rate of about 90% and comparing it to the list on Wikipedia which is derived from the UNDP Report 2011. That is probably not a proper comparison given the different sources. Those rates should be compared to the UNESCO estimate for Cayman of 98% in 1995. 

      You also neglected to mention that for highly developed/high income countries where literacy statistics were not collected, a rate of 99% was ASSUMED on Wikipedia.

      You might also mention that, according to Wikipedia, the great U.S.A. and U.K are 21st in the world along with 24 others according to this ASSUMED literacy rate.  

      Certainly we cannot afford to be complacent about our literacy rate but the purpose of your post was not to encourage improvement but as a put down for Cayman. Typical expat on CNS. 


      • Tribble says:

        Who is more likely to have accurate data of Cayman literacy – CIG or UNESCO? The CIG would have no reason to depress the figure and it would accord with my direct experience in Cayman.

        • Anonymous says:

          You are missing the point. The other figures are not derived in the same way. It may wellbe that the actual figures that the respective national govts would give would also be significantly lower than the UNDP estimate given the disparity between the UNESCO estimate and CIG's estimate for Cayman. Further, Wikipedia has supplied guesstimates of 99% for high income/highly developed countries where there no data was available from the UNDP.   

  5. Anonymous says:

    Cns, maybe you could investigate why one of the primary schools on the Brac is still sitting without a principal for over a year now even though advertisements went out and applications were submitted?

  6. Dum Diddy Dum says:

    Well, that settles it! I'm going to start saving for private school tuition for my unborn child.

    Over half of the school failed… and Anglin is proud?

    With these kind of test results… no wonder we have such an idiotic government! We have more idiotc voters than we do intelligent ones!

    Proof is in the pudding.

    • Anonymous says:

      These exams are not designed for everyone to pass. Not everyone is destined for college or university and that is what 5 passes of at least C Grade represents. In the U.S. only 32% of all students leave high school qualified to attend four-year colleges.

      Some will do better in vocational training. 1/2 passed this time but a few years ago only 1/4 passed.  

      None of this is to say we should be satisfied but don't make it out to be worse than it is.

    • Anonymous says:

      When compared to the results of previous years, these results are to be celebrated.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Before some people make comments about how Caymanian standards for external results are not that great for IGCSE in pubic schools, let me remind you that if you take IGCSE's outside of England that they're harder than the actual IGCSE's within England! Yes, that's right. International students get harder exams.

  8. Just Sayin' says:

    As with everything else, in the public education system you get what you pay for.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not true in this case because we hane paid alot. The problem is that the results are not equal to the amount paid.

      • Anonymous says:

        Look to the self proclained "leaders"in your education system for their consistent imcompetency, chasing insignifant factors like dress-codes to make them feel like they are doing something effectful, and religously charging an environment that should be neutral in order to allow students minds free to grow. I've seen more "leaders" work harder at making sure all thier friends from church get a nice and cozy job in an education administrative office , than work at ensuring thier students will have a job when the students get out of high-school, I'm sure the same goes for  the higher educational institutions. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    The size of the school or whether the exams are easy, government or private, IGCSE or CXC does not matter. When a student reaches high school it is up to that student to be willing to learn. The teacher are there to teach not because of the pay grade. I went through the private school system and John Gray and I can say that the teachers at John Gray will take the time even after school to help students when they approach them for help. The other problem is that parents have to get involved in their son/daughter's education and guide them. You cannot expect a student to do good in school if the parents are not trying to encourage their chidlren to push to their limits. I can say that when I was in school I did really well with my external exams but it was not because of the school and the system but because I was willing to learn and I got involved with other after school activities. Up to this day when I run into my old High School teachers they all say that they are proud of my achivements and I was one of their favorite students because I showed so much interest in learning.

    Just the other day I saw a school girl from John Gray walking down the road hand in hand with a young man in his mid 20's, and I know it is not her brother, cousin or father. I was shocked that it was 9:00 am and she was not in school, but walking in a direction away from school. What does that tell you? And some people wonder why teen pregnancy is so high! When her mother or father gets her report card and that shows the absences from school, is she not questioned?

    No one cannot blame the government for the achivement of students cause all is given the same opportunity, attention and fairness. The teachers are not nursery school teachers but high school teachers and do not have the time to babysit anyone's children or force them to do their work. But some parents have to wake up and theoretically beat some sense into their kids about the real world after high school, for them to understand that life is not as easy as they think it will be without an education.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Are these the same exams they take in the UK that have been dumbed down to such an extent that almost everyone passes?.

  11. Anonymous says:

    It is kind of unfair to compare the high school students in Grand Cayman with the students on the Brac, as they have much smaller classes on the Brac and therefore have the benefit of more one on one interaction with their teachers. As well as less distractions then those in the high school here caused by teachers having to take so much time to settle the students before they are able to teach lessons….. 

  12. Anonymous says:

    How does this compare to % passes in the UK?

    • Anonymous says:

      More important does it mean they can actually read, write and do basic arithmetic because the problem in the UK is that kids can leave school at 16 with apparently good paper qualifications but without the ability to add up, spell or read a newspaper.

      Some years ago the concept that no one should fail an exam was introduced and it's all gone downhill since.

    • SSM345 says:

      Quite frankly this is nothing to cheer about. "Almost half" means more than half are not getting anything that will carry them on to a better education or decent entry level job when they leave. So more unemployemtyn, more handouts, more problems.

      The fact that the UK is going to scrap many of the GCSE exams for Maths , English etc because they are too easy and replace them with tougher exams would have me extremely worried as an Educator in the Govt schools.

      Just saying.

      A Caymanian

      (11 GCSE's, 3 ALevels, 4 Scottish Highers, Associates in Accounting, Law Degree and STEP)

      • Anonymous says:

        Not only that, but what subjects are the passes in? What percentage of students pass the subjects, such as Maths and English, that are required to advance in education.

      • Cayman Mama says:

        I agree with you 15:19 about the more than 50% who have obtained less than a 'C' and fewer than 5 passes.  This is nothing to brag about!!  How many good Universities are going to accept 5 passes.  I'd like to see how the results compare to students from the Cayman Private Schools – which cost a lot less to build and a lot less to run.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why would anyone object to a comparison? We are always being compared to the 'first world' in every other respect.

    • Anonymous says:

      I believe the UK results this year (averaged for all subjects) was 69% for A*-C grades