The Principal of the Princess Margaret School (PMS), Dr. Colin Greene, says too many people are coming to the wrong conclusion when looking at this year’s pass rate percentage of five or more subjects, including Mathematics and English, taken at the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC).
His comments follow criticisms by several people, including educators, who described the results as poor and insufficient to even allow students to gain entry to Antigua State College.
Those individuals were speaking about figures from the Ministry of Education which showed that only 27 percent of the students in Antigua and Barbuda had passed five or more subjects this year, inclusive of Mathematics and English.
Dr. Greene said the main issue with the statistics, though, is that it does not indicate that not all the students sat five or more subjects, including those two compulsory subjects, this year.
“The percentage in any one year is not reflective of what a child leaves with. Right now, there are several third and fourth formers who have already negotiated two and three CSEC subjects before they have arrived at fifth form,” he explained.
Dr. Greene stressed that people need to stop looking at the pass rate percentage for the sitting in a single year and look at overall number of passes at the end of secondary school.
He said that is the approach taken at PMS and more students are leaving with better overall results.
“Let’s say we had, last year about 22 third formers doing maths. We also had fourth formers, but they are only doing maths. And people say ‘well, look at that, 22 children only passed one subject’ but that is not a negative, that is a big plus,” he said.
According to the principal, all the PMS third formers who sat CSEC maths last year passed the subject with many getting Grade One passes.