CXC reports significant drop in registration, increased absenteeism for 2021 sittings

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By Carlena Knight

Ahead of today’s release of the overall results for the 2021 Caribbean Examination Council (CXC), officials said there were reduced entries at both the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) and Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) levels.

Director of Operations Dr Nichole Manning made the revelation during the CXC’s press conference held Thursday in Guyana.

“For CAPE, we did see a reduction both in candidate entries and subject entries and this would have been our lowest cohort for the last four years. We saw where we had a reduction for candidate entries as much as 27,750; that would have been the number of candidate entries we would have had, and for subject entries 110,20. We saw a reduction likewise and that reduction resulted in 103,445 candidates sitting examinations this year, while 502,859 subject entries for CSEC,” Manning said.

Last year, candidate entries for CAPE were at 30,398 while in 2019, it was 30,944. For subject entries in 2020, the figure was 119,356 while in 2019 it was 121,595.

Meanwhile, for CSEC, there were 122,248 candidate entries in 2020, while that figure was 122,813 in 2019, and 127,897 in 2018. For subject entries in 2020, there were 554,157. In 2019, that figure was at 557,564 and 570,719 in 2018.

Another significant note would have been the increase in the number of absentees for both exams which, according to Dr Manning, “was the highest we would have had in four years”.

Absentees are candidates who for whatever reason did not show up for their exams.

“It was the highest we would have had in four years [for CAPE] — 8.83 percent, and I want us to remember that this group would have registered, not necessarily deferred, but would have decided not to attend the examination. Similarly, as we had it for CAPE, we had a large number of absentees — 11.23 percent for CSEC,” she added.

That was a drastic increase compared to the last three years for CAPE which saw 3.99 percent in 2020; 5.23 percent in 2019; and in 2018, 5.43 percent.

It was a similar depiction for CSEC, which in 2020 had just 5.35 percent. In 2019 that percentage was 7.08 percent while 2018 saw a percentage of 7.39.

Dr Manning also gave some statistics in the number of deferrals that were made this year.

Students had the opportunity to decide to delay their own sittings from June 2021 to January 2022 or June 2022, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the limitations brought on by it.

Based on the statistics given, there were 1,251 deferrals for subject entries in CAPE and 15,719 thus far for CSEC.

For January 2022, 4,179 subject entries have been recorded while for June 2022 that number is currently at 7,720.

“We are still awaiting selection from 3,280 subject entries but registration closes on November 5th 2021, so they do have time and so the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) has given them that further opportunity to select which sitting they would like to do their examinations,” Manning explained.

As announced previously, the results for each territory will be released later today on the student online portal.

CEO of CXC, Dr Wayne Wesley mentioned that all of the Ministry of Education offices around the region would have also received the results.

There has been no word up until news time when local education officials would be releasing the statistics for Antigua and Barbuda on the performance for both CAPE and CSEC students and the various secondary schools.

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