Belize has been having stellar performance in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) recently with students getting more competitive every year in the number of CXCs they are sitting. Yesterday we spoke with the 2016 most outstanding performer for Belize, Rhiki Alegria who spoke about his tactics for good performance. Today we spoke with CXC Local Registrar, Juan Vargas who elaborated on the patterns we are seeing in CXC results and what enables schools to help their students succeed.
Juan Vargas, CXC Local Registrar: “When we look at the number of subjects that we have for the CSEC examination, which is the high school examination CXC has a suite of 35 subjects, if we look at the individual subjects you might see that our performance is in line with what occurs in the region. If we look at subjects that the students do mostly, for example,the math and English you would see that our performance is in line with what it was, in fact in English we are a bit above what the region has and also in mathematics. So that means that our students are competitive when it comes to this examination. You would see that our students indeed show that they have all the skills and input in terms of ensuring that they do well in the subjects. It’s a whole host of things that would have helped a student perform well in school; there are factors like the motivation of the school, dedication to their studies, parents play a paramount role in terms of all the work that the student has to put into the preparation for the examination as it relates to the school-based assessment so parents are key here. Teachers are very important in terms of the support and guidance that the teachers gave the students, and also the Ministry of Education and the government of Belize is paying for students to sit up to 6 CSEC subjects and any other costs that might be related to those subjects so all of this is bringing more students to sit the examination and also we are seeing that they are excelling.”
Previous records have shown that schools that foster a well-resourced learning environment are having better output from their students as opposed to schools that are not so well-resourced but according to Vargas, recent years are showing a closing of that gap.
Juan Vargas, CXC Local Registrar: “I’m seeing a leveling off where we have other schools in the districts also who are doing the same thing in terms of putting in resources and ensuring that their teachers are prepared to the level of the program. They ensure that the teachers attend their workshops and know what is due in their area so they are also competitive. If you look at the distribution of students who excel you would find that in the two categories that are awarded for the CSEC subjects the excellence and achievement you will find a huge number of students from the districts. So the information or you have the teachers who are indeed getting to their subjects, mastering their subjects and networking with other teachers so we cannot only say the big schools or the schools in the city. I think as educators I believe they are pulling their weight and ensuring that their delivery is proper because you are in it as a vocation and you want to ensure that your school is at the top.”
Vargas stated that to improve their performance in the coming years he would advise high schools to network with each other with a view to sharing best practices.