Provisional results for the 2020 examinations for the government schools are indicating the Cayman’s students did well despite the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis.
According to the Ministry and Department of Education, the results indicate an improvement over the past four years as demonstrated by the number of Year 11 and Year 12 students who gained 5 exam passes at Grade I, II or III (Level 2 qualifications).
Hon. Minister of Education, Juliana O’Connor-Connolly applauded the students on their success.
“Our students have performed exceptionally well given the challenges of the lockdown, including the transition to 100% remote learning and the change to the exam schedule,” she said.
“This speaks volumes for the level of support provided by our Government School educators, support staff and of course, their parents and guardians. The dedication that our students displayed in persevering through uncharted waters cannot be understated. The resilience and tenacity of our valiant students should be a source of pride for every Caymanian,” Minister for Education O’Connor-Connolly declared.
According to the preliminary report, in the core curriculum subject areas of English, mathematics and science, growth has been maintained over time.
Provisional results also indicate that the number of students achieving a Level 2 qualification in English reached an all-time high of 86.4%, up by 8% over the previous high of 78% in 2018.
Performance in mathematics while continuing to be uneven, also realised modest gains reaching 54% over the 2019 figures of 49%.
The number of students achieving at least one science subject at Level 2 reached an all-time high of 71%.
This was a 13% improvement over 2019 which had recorded a dip of 58%.
It also represents a 4% increase over the previous high of 67% obtained in 2018.
Acting Director of The Department of Education Services(DES), Tammy Banks-DaCosta, remarked:
“Overall, we are showing modest gains from year-to-year attributed to strategies and interventions that have been implemented. The success of these strategies and interventions is proven based on other clear indicators.”
Ms Banks-DaCosta also noted that “this cohort’s 2019 performance in English was 75.3%, which is slightly higher than the student performance statistics in England which was at 61.8% in 2019.”
She singled out several students for their outstanding performance.
“Additionally, we have three students from the Clifton Hunter High School who achieved Top 10 Merit status regionally in the CSEC May - June 2019 examination series. Diamond Chambers ranked 9th in the region in Human and Social Biology and also tied with Joshua Peart for the 7th place rank in Integrated Science. Aaliyah Powell who was an early entry in Year 10, ranked 9th in Electronic Document Preparation.”
During October, 330 students successfully graduated from the Government’s secondary school system and Lighthouse School. 157 of those graduates achieved their diploma with Level 2 ‘Honours’ and ‘High Honours’.
Level 2 ‘Honours’ indicates that a student achieved 7 exam passes with Grade I, II or III, or the grade equivalent in accepted exams other than CSEC. Level 2 ‘High Honours’ indicates 9 passes at Grade I or II, or the grade equivalent in accepted exams other than CSEC. The subject area passes obtained must include English and mathematics.
Addressing the timing of the official release of examination results this year, the Acting Director of DES cited some of the setbacks experienced as a result of the pandemic.
“The 2019-2020 academic year was absolutely impacted by the Coronavirus Covid-19 Pandemic," she stated.
"This resulted in delays in the administration and awarding of grades by some external examination bodies. When grades for the CXC were issued in September, a number of candidates across the region voiced concern about the process and the grades received and requested reviews of their grades.”
As a result the CXC Chairman commissioned a review of the entire process for the 2020 examinations, and a report titled, ‘Report of the Independent Review Team: Review of the Administration of the 2020 CSEC and CAPE Examinations by the Caribbean Examinations Council’ was subsequently produced and shared with member territories.
The Cayman Islands Government Schools have submitted a total of 69 requests for review and is awaiting the final review by the CXC.
The deadline for territories to submit reviews was extended until November 6th.
Despite the encouraging news about the exam performance of the students, the DES advises that all results for the Cayman Islands should be considered provisional until the final report is received from the CXC.
However, it points out that any potential changes coming out of the CXC reviews will not affect the results negatively.