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CXC stakeholder seminar for journalists explains products and servives, dispels myths

by B. Roach

Nerissa Golden, Director of Information & Communications for the Government of Montserrat and Bennette Roach, Editor of The Montserrat Reporter attended a one-day seminar hosted and sponsored by the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) headquartered in Barbados on Monday, March 5, 2012. The next day, Tuesday, March 6 they followed with a seminar for guidance counselors. Dr. V. Clarice Barnes, School psychologist and Mrs. Donnette Allen attended from Montserrat.

Dianne Medford and Susan Giles

At the opening and introduction phase of the seminar, a little over 20  participants who hailed from Barbados, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), were told that the goal of the seminar was to provide journalists around the region with information on CXC’s products and services to enable them to better report on stories related to the council and its examinations.

Sam Cleveland & Gordon Harewood

“…just to let you know what we’re looking to accomplish as we go out with through the day is basically to provide you as journalist with information pertaining to CXC and its products and services and to basically empower you to better cover issues relating to CXC  and examinations that we offer so that when we’re writing stories about CXC reporting on CXC you are writing from a position of knowledge,” Sam Cleveland said in his opening.

Dr. Didacus Jules, CXC Registrar  notes the reasoning that, “Every household in the Caribbean is affected by CXC in one way or the other and the high-stakes nature of examinations requires that CXC communicate with the regional populace via the media.”

The CXC officials set about packing a burst of information and explanations, which for a great part drew interaction from a group of very attentive journalists. Throughout the eight-hour packed session the questions flowed from the participants as the officials sought their understanding and cooperation. “Journalists and the media are therefore critical stakeholders to CXC in getting our messages accurately to the region,” more words of the CXC Registrar.

They spoke of some of the myths and misunderstandings that exist amongst many to include education officials, teachers, students and parents. One such misinformation they informed,  CXC have never given ‘distinctions’ to students who successfully complete the exams at Grade One level.

This statement was met with incredulity by the journalists who said that year after year the reports coming to their media houses from their local ministry of education is that selected students have received the highest possible grade also called “distinctions” in particular subjects. Students sitting the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) can receive a grading from one to six, with a grade one showing they have a comprehensive grasp of concepts, knowledge, skills and competencies in the subject area.

Cleveland Sam, the Assistant Registrar responsible for Public Administration noted that the term “distinction”, is a left over from the “old awarding committees that handled Cambridge. There is no such thing as a Grade 1 Distinction. It never existed within CXC.”

Mrs. Sharon Giles is Head of Examination Administration Security (EAS) and she added a view on that issue.  “In the region we have a very elitist society and it was their way of saying their child was a cut above the others who also got a Grade one,” she said, adding, “We have never spoken about distinctions and historically it is not found on certificates.”

The point was also made about the phrase “CXC Certificate – or exam”. This should be Certificate of any of the several and varying types of examinations conducted under the auspices of CXC, such as CAPE, CSEC, CCSLS, CVQ and more.

Besides teachers and of course students and especially parents featured prominently in the rank of stakeholders. The officials called for parents to play a more active role in the education life of their children so they can have a clearer understanding of the process and how to support them as they prepare for these critical examinations. They stressed, “Parents must be more active in the education life of their children especially as they prepare to take their external examinations from the CXC.

The hope is that the media would assist in bringing the message home. The participants mostly welcomed the opportunity to attend the seminar, one senior journalist expressing the view on the way back to the hotel, “this was the most informative event of its kind,” he had attended.

Other presenters for the seminar were: Dr. Gordon N. Harewood, presenting ‘The CXC System of Grading; Dr. Carol Granston, Ms. Dianne Medford.

Sam, while introducing the day’s proceedings, gave a background of the work and their involvement with their stake holder relationship management. “We would have had some meetings in Barbados in 2010 with parents, teachers and students; also hosted a student forum in Guyana in 2010; six hundred (600) students, this last December in Trinidad… would have hosted meetings with all the principals of the high schools in Trinidad…and later in the year we will be hosting similar seminars for guidance counsels in Jamaica, the Cayman islands, Belize and Turks and Cacaos as well as a seminar in Trinidad for Guidance Counsels from Trinidad, Guyana and Grenada…”

The CXC boasts a vision : “To assure the global human resource competitiveness of the Caribbean through the provision of quality assurance in education and comprehensive certification.”

The mission: To provide the region with: syllabuses of the highest quality; valid and reliable examinations and certificates of international repute for students of all ages, abilities and interests; services to educational institutions in the development of syllabuses, examinations and examinations’ administration, in the most cost-effective way.

 

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by B. Roach

Nerissa Golden, Director of Information & Communications for the Government of Montserrat and Bennette Roach, Editor of The Montserrat Reporter attended a one-day seminar hosted and sponsored by the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) headquartered in Barbados on Monday, March 5, 2012. The next day, Tuesday, March 6 they followed with a seminar for guidance counselors. Dr. V. Clarice Barnes, School psychologist and Mrs. Donnette Allen attended from Montserrat.

Dianne Medford and Susan Giles

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At the opening and introduction phase of the seminar, a little over 20  participants who hailed from Barbados, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), were told that the goal of the seminar was to provide journalists around the region with information on CXC’s products and services to enable them to better report on stories related to the council and its examinations.

Sam Cleveland & Gordon Harewood

“…just to let you know what we’re looking to accomplish as we go out with through the day is basically to provide you as journalist with information pertaining to CXC and its products and services and to basically empower you to better cover issues relating to CXC  and examinations that we offer so that when we’re writing stories about CXC reporting on CXC you are writing from a position of knowledge,” Sam Cleveland said in his opening.

Dr. Didacus Jules, CXC Registrar  notes the reasoning that, “Every household in the Caribbean is affected by CXC in one way or the other and the high-stakes nature of examinations requires that CXC communicate with the regional populace via the media.”

The CXC officials set about packing a burst of information and explanations, which for a great part drew interaction from a group of very attentive journalists. Throughout the eight-hour packed session the questions flowed from the participants as the officials sought their understanding and cooperation. “Journalists and the media are therefore critical stakeholders to CXC in getting our messages accurately to the region,” more words of the CXC Registrar.

They spoke of some of the myths and misunderstandings that exist amongst many to include education officials, teachers, students and parents. One such misinformation they informed,  CXC have never given ‘distinctions’ to students who successfully complete the exams at Grade One level.

This statement was met with incredulity by the journalists who said that year after year the reports coming to their media houses from their local ministry of education is that selected students have received the highest possible grade also called “distinctions” in particular subjects. Students sitting the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) can receive a grading from one to six, with a grade one showing they have a comprehensive grasp of concepts, knowledge, skills and competencies in the subject area.

Cleveland Sam, the Assistant Registrar responsible for Public Administration noted that the term “distinction”, is a left over from the “old awarding committees that handled Cambridge. There is no such thing as a Grade 1 Distinction. It never existed within CXC.”

Mrs. Sharon Giles is Head of Examination Administration Security (EAS) and she added a view on that issue.  “In the region we have a very elitist society and it was their way of saying their child was a cut above the others who also got a Grade one,” she said, adding, “We have never spoken about distinctions and historically it is not found on certificates.”

The point was also made about the phrase “CXC Certificate – or exam”. This should be Certificate of any of the several and varying types of examinations conducted under the auspices of CXC, such as CAPE, CSEC, CCSLS, CVQ and more.

Besides teachers and of course students and especially parents featured prominently in the rank of stakeholders. The officials called for parents to play a more active role in the education life of their children so they can have a clearer understanding of the process and how to support them as they prepare for these critical examinations. They stressed, “Parents must be more active in the education life of their children especially as they prepare to take their external examinations from the CXC.

The hope is that the media would assist in bringing the message home. The participants mostly welcomed the opportunity to attend the seminar, one senior journalist expressing the view on the way back to the hotel, “this was the most informative event of its kind,” he had attended.

Other presenters for the seminar were: Dr. Gordon N. Harewood, presenting ‘The CXC System of Grading; Dr. Carol Granston, Ms. Dianne Medford.

Sam, while introducing the day’s proceedings, gave a background of the work and their involvement with their stake holder relationship management. “We would have had some meetings in Barbados in 2010 with parents, teachers and students; also hosted a student forum in Guyana in 2010; six hundred (600) students, this last December in Trinidad… would have hosted meetings with all the principals of the high schools in Trinidad…and later in the year we will be hosting similar seminars for guidance counsels in Jamaica, the Cayman islands, Belize and Turks and Cacaos as well as a seminar in Trinidad for Guidance Counsels from Trinidad, Guyana and Grenada…”

The CXC boasts a vision : “To assure the global human resource competitiveness of the Caribbean through the provision of quality assurance in education and comprehensive certification.”

The mission: To provide the region with: syllabuses of the highest quality; valid and reliable examinations and certificates of international repute for students of all ages, abilities and interests; services to educational institutions in the development of syllabuses, examinations and examinations’ administration, in the most cost-effective way.