Archive | Education

BAKERs from fine grains Barbados

Caribbean Grains spreads the fine art of baking

Bakers Michael and Ali with students from Vieux Fort Comprehensive Secondary School Barbados

(PRESS RELEASE) – Caribbean Grains Ltd, which operates a production mill in Vieux Fort, considers itself more than just a manufacturer of flour.

The Company, which has been here for more than a year, sees itself as an ally of the present and future generation of bakers.

During the month of November, the Company has been conducting training sessions aimed at equipping bakers with new techniques in the areas of bread and pastry production.

The latest training sessions were held on Thursday, November 16th and Friday, November 17th at the Caribbean Grains facility in Vieux Fort. A session with students of the Beanefield Comprehensive Secondary School, together with local bakers from the south, was conducted on day-one. Day-two was devoted to students from the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College (SALCC) and Vieux Fort Comprehensive Secondary School (VFCSS). The training sessions were conducted by two bakers from Guadeloupe and Mustique.

Managing Director of Caribbean Grains Ltd, Arnaud de Moussac said such training is very useful because it allows the Company to interact with bakers while they prepare various products made from flour from the Company.

“What we are aiming at is giving a consistent product every time the baker is starting his process, helping them to rationalise and practising economy, mostly by weighing the product because, at the end of the day, not weighing products can make a big difference in terms of earning and losing. And no one knows that you are winning when you are getting a little heavier product, but your bottom line will know it. So, we are trying to get the same cause and effect from these training sessions.”

The Managing Director added that Caribbean Grains is a new Company which must prove itself to its customers. He described the level of business with local bakers as “good” and “picking up.”

“The people have a better response to our product. We are very happy with the way they are willing to re-assess us. Nobody likes to change, but the change is welcome, and more and more we hear people saying that they want to buy Saint Lucian products because it generates Saint Lucian employment.”

Bakers were given an opportunity to learn and improve their skills in the areas of French and local bread products, as well as in baked goods such as pastries, cakes, croissants and pizza, using local flour manufactured by Caribbean Grains.  Sessions with the students are part of a practical training programme that Caribbean Grains conducts every other month with local bakeries and bakers.

Chef at Coconut Bay Resort, David Serieux, who has been a baker for 18 years, said he emerged from the training session with knowledge of how to refine his baking skills.

” Well, to be honest, it’s not something I never did before, but the techniques and the process I saw here seem much better here because of the equipment, such as the proof-box, and the way the oven works is amazing.”

Other bakeries represented at the training sessions were Bonne Baguette Bakery, the French Bakery, Mannee’s Bakery, and Kaision Bakery.

Participating students expressed gratitude to Caribbean Grains for exposing them to various techniques and opportunities in the field of baking.

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Vice President Miss Jose White

Teachers frustrated with no communication from the Ministry of Education

Teachers under the Montserrat Union of Teachers (MUT) have, in a surprising if not unusual move invited the press to tell them of the union’s disappointment and frustration over the Ministry of Education’s alleged unwillingness to address health and safety hazards within the schools, salaries and training for teachers.

The press conference took place last Thursday November 23, 2017 at the Police Conference centre. where representatives of the teachers’ union say the Caribbean Union of Teachers is providing them with advice on how to move forward.

The Montserrat teachers say they are alarmed over the apparent unresponsiveness of officials regarding teachers’ concerns that were communicated to the Ministry of Education several times since January this year.

President Miss Denise Silcott

Miss Denise Silcott is the president of the MUT and with her other representatives explain: The current Executive Officers of the Montserrat Union of Teachers (MUT) were elected in November 2016. They then consulted with teachers in December 2016 and had an audience with the Minister of Education, Permanent Secretary and Director of Education in January. During this conference, they reported that they have received no substantive response from the Ministry.

Among the many issues they communicated with the Ministry are: For example, broken fences and windows, safety of stairs that are “slippery”; the longstanding need to replace the Brades Primary school’s bathroom, repairs to the roof of Salem Nursery School, inadequate pay, the need to recognise teachers as professionals, provision of training for untrained teachers, teachers being on probationary status for up to five years; a draft code of ethics that was based on the OECS code; their request for a salary increase of fifteen (15) percent given accumulated inflation over the years, and much more. 

Vice President Miss Jose White

As part of the list: teachers who are on a prolonged probationary status are blocked from getting bank loans for a house or the like, and this is part of why they request urgent action for such teachers.

They explained in addition, where also, if annual performance reports are delayed by superiors, teachers cannot get increments. Some of these specific concerns have indeed come up as line-items in the June 9, 2017 Budget or in the November 23, 2017 Supplementary Appropriation Bill, but the teachers’ key concern is the lack of regular two-way communication.

Secretary Miss Charliena White

As recently as October 2, MUT again says they wrote the officials. They requested a timeline for action but received no response. However, the teacher’s report, people have been observed inspecting some of the broken fences and the like.

On October 25, the MUT wrote a follow up letter, but again there has been no response up to November 23.

In the press conference, Miss Silcott, MUT President, argued that of the various challenges, “communication is the easiest to fix” and that if it is fixed “others will fall into place.”

Teachers – who are Civil Servants in Montserrat – received the recent 3% salary increase announced in the June 9, 2017 Budget presentation. In addition, some have received the additional 7 – 10% increase for those at the lowest levels of the Public Service. However, the MUT leadership reports that such an increase is grossly insufficient. For example, they note, a $132 per month “three percent” increase is subject to tax and is much less than the cumulative impact of inflation over the years. They also argue that if Montserrat’s teachers were recognised as professionals, they would be eligible for increments and allowances that come with that status. This is a part of the reason why the teachers have submitted a draft professional code of conduct and are awaiting the Ministry’s response.

Public Relations Officer (PRO) Ritchlyn Duke-Hackett

While the Ministry says little or ‘no comment’ except that ‘a response would be provided to the media in due course, the teachers say, “The easiest one of the lot to me, (Silcott) to fix is the communication issue. If the communication issue is fixed then the others would automatically fall in place. That is what you’ve noticed from what we’ve said is that we have highlighted these things it’s not that we don’t want to work with the ministry, we’re not hearing from them.”

The MUT leaders say strike action is not on their agenda, noting that under the General Orders, teachers, nurses and police are forbidden from taking strike action, so they are publicising their concerns and are appealing for support.

Posted in Education, Featured, Local, News, Regional1 Comment

Caribbean Grains spreads the fine art of baking

Caribbean Grains spreads the fine art of baking

 

Bakers Michael and Ali with students from Vieux Fort Comprehensive Secondary School

(PRESS RELEASE) – Caribbean Grains Ltd, which operates a production mill in Vieux Fort, considers itself more than just a manufacturer of flour.

The Company, which has been here for more than a year, sees itself as an ally of the present and future generation of bakers.

During the month of November, the Company has been conducting training sessions aimed at equipping bakers with new techniques in the areas of bread and pastry production.

The latest training sessions were held on Thursday, November 16th and Friday, November 17th at the Caribbean Grains facility in Vieux Fort. A session with students of the Beanefield Comprehensive Secondary School, together with local bakers from the south, was conducted on day-one. Day-two was devoted to students from the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College (SALCC) and Vieux Fort Comprehensive Secondary School (VFCSS). The training sessions were conducted by two bakers from Guadeloupe and Mustique.

Managing Director of Caribbean Grains Ltd, Arnaud de Moussac said such training is very useful because it allows the Company to interact with bakers while they prepare various products made from flour from the Company.

“What we are aiming at is giving a consistent product every time the baker is starting his process, helping them to rationalise and practising economy, mostly by weighing the product because, at the end of the day, not weighing products can make a big difference in terms of earning and losing. And no one knows that you are winning when you are getting a little heavier product, but your bottom line will know it. So, we are trying to get the same cause and effect from these training sessions.”

The Managing Director added that Caribbean Grains is a new Company which must prove itself to its customers. He described the level of business with local bakers as “good” and “picking up.”

“The people have a better response to our product. We are very happy with the way they are willing to re-assess us. Nobody likes to change, but the change is welcome, and more and more we hear people saying that they want to buy Saint Lucian products because it generates Saint Lucian employment.”

Bakers were given an opportunity to learn and improve their skills in the areas of French and local bread products, as well as in baked goods such as pastries, cakes, croissants and pizza, using local flour manufactured by Caribbean Grains.  Sessions with the students are part of a practical training programme that Caribbean Grains conducts every other month with local bakeries and bakers.

Chef at Coconut Bay Resort, David Serieux, who has been a baker for 18 years, said he emerged from the training session with knowledge of how to refine his baking skills.

” Well, to be honest, it’s not something I never did before, but the techniques and the process I saw here seem much better here because of the equipment, such as the proof-box, and the way the oven works is amazing.”

Other bakeries represented at the training sessions were Bonne Baguette Bakery, the French Bakery, Mannee’s Bakery, and Kaision Bakery.

Participating students expressed gratitude to Caribbean Grains for exposing them to various techniques and opportunities in the field of baking.

 

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marijuuu

Guyana to host CARICOM consultations on use of marijuana

 
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Nov 3, CMC – Guyana will host a consultation on the use of marijuana on Monday, November 6, 2017 as part of the efforts by Caribbean Community (CARICOM) governments to conduct careful in-depth research so as to inform decision making on the issue.

The Regional Commission on Marijuana, which was established by CARICOM leaders, will meet with various stakeholders including Youth and Faith-based organizations.

marijuuuThe region-wide consultations are intended to obtain information on the social, economic, health and legal issues related to marijuana use in the Caribbean.

“Such information would, among other outcomes, determine whether there should be a change in the current drug classification, modelled after the UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances for which many, if not all, CARICOM members are party to,” the Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat said in a statement.

It said that given that reclassification of the drug would make it legally accessible for all types of use, including religious, recreational, medical and research, the Regional Commission is expected also to provide recommendations on the legal and administrative conditions that will apply, as per its Terms of Reference.

Many Caribbean countries’ legislations do not currently allow for full legislation under international law and national approaches to addressing this issue have resulted in various positions.

In the case of Jamaica, for example, the Dangerous Drugs Act was amended in 2016 and legislation was passed which reduced possession of small quantities to a petty offence. It also created the framework for the development of legal medical marijuana, hemp and nutraceutical industries.

Antigua and Barbuda’s Cabinet agreed, in August 2016, to send a draft law to Parliament for its first reading. In August of this year, Belize introduced an amendment to its Misuse of Drugs Act, to deciminalise the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana.

The proposed legislation also provides for the imposition of monetary and non-recordable penalties for such amounts that are found on school premises in specialized circumstances and decriminalizes the use of the substance in small amounts on private premises.

In other countries there have been widespread public information and communications initiatives driven by both government and civil society.

In addition to national consultations, the Regional Marijuana Commission will undertake extensive secondary research to inform the preparation of reports to be submitted to the CARICOM leaders for its consideration, the Secretariat added.

So far, consultations have taken place in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda and Barbados and the Secretariat said that national consultations will continue in Suriname, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Belize.

The Commission is headed by Professor Rose-Marie-Bell Antoine, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) and includes practitioners with expert knowledge in a variety of disciplines including medicine and allied health, health research, law enforcement, ethics, education, anthropology/sociology/ culture.

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Partner Series

SpaceX to Launch Korean Communications Satellite Today: Watch It Live

Live Science
 
Partner Series
SpaceX to Launch Korean Communications Satellite Today: Watch It Live
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches the U.S. Air Force’s X-37B space plane into orbit on Sept. 7, 2017.

Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX aims to pull off another launch-and-landing double play today (Oct. 30), and you can watch all the spaceflight action live.

A SpaceX two-stage Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to launch the KoreaSat 5A communications satellite at 3:34 p.m. EDT (1934 GMT) today from Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. You can watch the launch live here at Space.com courtesy of SpaceX, or directly via the company at http://www.spacex.com/webcast.

If all goes according to plan, the booster’s first stage will return to Earth for a soft landing less than 10 minutes after liftoff, settling vertically onto a SpaceX “drone ship” stationed off the Florida coast. [Relive a SpaceX Rocket Launch and Landing in Pictures]

 

Such landings are part of SpaceX’s plan to develop fully and rapidly reusable rockets and space vehicles, a key priority for the company and its billionaire founder and CEO, Elon Musk. To date, SpaceX has aced 18 Falcon 9 touchdowns and re-launched landed boosters on three different occasions.

SpaceX has also re-flown a Dragon cargo capsule once and aims to do so again on its next resupply run to the International Space Station for NASA, which will launch no earlier than December.

KoreaSat 5A is owned by the South Korean company KTSat. The satellite will provide TV and other communications services to people in South Korea, Japan and Southeast Asia, according to the company’s website. The satellite will also aid maritime communications from East Africa to East Asia.

KoreaSat 5A will replace KoreaSat 5, which launched in 2006.

Posted in Education, Environment, International, Local, News, Regional, Technology0 Comments

school feeding

Caribbean countries meet to create pathways to food and nutrition education

BRASILIA, Brazil, Oct 3, CMC – Delegates from several Caribbean countries are meeting here this week to discuss a new vision for school feeding programmes that is being promoted through regional and national interventions based on the fundamental elements of education for sustainability and the production of food for schools.

The interventions aim at strengthening the process of how policies for food and nutritional education in schools are institutionalized in 17 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean, including Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

school feedingThe International Congress of School Feeding Programmes, being held from October 3-5, brings together nutrition and education experts from Brazil, Latin American and Caribbean countries to discuss and disseminate good practices, as well as provide the necessary inputs for building of knowledge of content, methodologies and didactic-pedagogical procedures necessary for the development of qualitative actions of food and nutritional education in schools.

The Congress will focus on three main areas and is expected to generate the opportunity to meet and discuss different perspectives and approaches of the main theme “Food and Nutrition Education”.

The organisers said that discussions will be held through lectures, workshops and exhibitions on topics such as the development of food and nutrition Education concepts, methodologies, best practices, and policies for school feeding programmes, as well as national developments and their impact on School Feeding Policies.

At least 17 countries from Latin America and the Caribbean including Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada are attending the talks being held within the framework of a regional project entitled “Strengthening School Feeding Programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean.”

Since 2009, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Brazilian Government, represented by the National Fund for the Development of Education (FNDE / MEC) and the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC / MRE), under the International Cooperation Programme, have been carrying out this regional project.

It is part of the agenda of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) with the aim of achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2 on eradicating hunger, achieving food security and improving nutrition.

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Prime Minister meets nationals living in Anguilla

St Kitts Nevis to accommodate CXC students from hurricane affected countries

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, Sep. 14, CMC – The government of St. Kitts Nevis has offered to accommodate secondary school students from islands that were severely affected by the passage Hurricane Irma, and who are registered to sit Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) exams.

The Dr. Timonty Harris led administration has offered to temporary accommodation in response to  the needs of those affected countries, as they seek to rebuild and return to a state of normalcy.

Prime Minister meets nationals living in Anguilla
Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris meets
nationals living in Anguilla

Harris was part of an OECS (Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States) Monetary Council delegation that visited the storm-affected island of Anguilla on Wednesday where he met with over 100 St. Kitts and Nevis nationals  and identified focal points of assistance.

One area of concern identified during that consultation was the consideration for students of those affected countries, particularly those who are registered to sit CXC exams.

As a result, Harris announced that accommodations are being made for displaced students in Anguilla, St. Maarten and the British Virgin Islands who are registered for upcoming CXC exams.

“These persons will be offered free enrollment in our schools until their own high schools are ready to accommodate them. We have prioritized those who are about to write the CXC exam…because the only high school in Anguilla has been significantly damaged – maybe 90 percent of it. The Government of Anguilla has said that they would be ready for October. That is as it is a prediction, an expectation, but the parents and guardians are concerned that they may have a long time and they are rightly concerned if they think that their students will be disadvantaged from a long closure of the high school,” said Harris during a press conference on Thursday.

In addition, the Government has made its hospitals available to residents of neighbouring islands should the need for health services be required.

St. Kitts and Nevis has also offered the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport as a staging platform for relief efforts to St. Barths, St. Eustatius, French St. Martin, Saba and Dutch St. Maarten, and has also provided diplomatic clearance for foreign vessels that could not safely get into the waters of French St. Martin.

The Prime Minister also revealed that the federation has provided entry to 251 persons, who were processed at the sea ports.

“Of this number, 81 persons held U.S. passports, 42 of them held St. Kitts and Nevis passports – so those were our nationals coming back home – 42 held French passports, 36 held passports from the Netherlands, 15 held passports from India, 7 held passports from Guyana, 1 held passport from Trinidad and Tobago, 4 held passports from Taiwan, 7 held passports from Ireland and 2 held passports from Russia. All passengers were processed by Immigration Officers, Customs and Excise Officers, health officials were on hand including Veterinary Officers, and officers of the K-9 Unit were also on hand,”  Harris stated, adding, “Immigration officers have reported that all these passengers had adequate documentation.”

He also said that the government is prepared to assist in the restoration of electricity supply to Anguilla and to any other island that requests such assistance.

“In our moment of great need, when persons here were becoming impatient after a hurricane…when electricity had gone out as a result of fallen pole lines and poles etc., it was the good Government of St. Lucia that volunteered – they didn’t let us come to ask – it volunteered the services of several persons to assist in the restoration of our electricity supply. We are grateful for the assistance of the Government of St. Lucia. We want to return the favour to other countries similarly displaced, as we were the recipient of the good graces of another country,” the prime minister said.

He stressed that these outreach efforts being made available by the St. Kitts and Nevis Government are manageable and “will make a significant difference in the efforts to restore those countries now impacted to a state of normalcy.”

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poverty

Poverty on the rise in Barbados – survey

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Sep. 14, CMC  – A new study has found that poverty is on the rise in Barbados with  17.5 percent of the population living in poverty, up from 15.1 percent in 2010.

The findings of the Barbados Survey of Living Conditions 2016-2017, were officially released on Wednesday.

povertyThe survey was carried out among 7,100 Barbadians from 2,500 households in 11 parishes.

However the study found that the number of Barbadians living in extreme poverty has fallen by almost half from 6.8 percent in 2010 – when the last survey was conducted to 3.6 per cent in 2016, while those living in non-extreme poverty more than tripled from 3.8 percent to 13.8 percent.

The survey, funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and undertaken in collaboration with the Barbados Statistical Service between February 2016 and January 2017, also showed that Barbadians were generally more vulnerable to poverty, as that category of persons increased from 10.4 per cent to 11 per cent.

IDB Project Leader Diether Beuermann Mendoza  who presented the findings during a Skype presentation said that a significant gender gap also exists.

He said  not only do women head 57 percent of households in Barbados, they also account for a significant percentage of the island’s poor when compared to men.

The study also revealed that the rich households have smaller families and a link was made between poverty and low-quality dwellings, such as those without flush toilets, running water and electricity.

CMC/kb/2017

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Arthritis in knees is a preventable disease, scientists discover

Arthritis in knees is a preventable disease, scientists discover

Kate Wright

Arthritis in the knees is a preventable disease rather than an inevitable consequence of wear and ageing, a study has concluded.

The condition is twice as common today as it was before the Second World War, according to researchers who put the increase down to lifestyle changes such as diet or footwear, as well as people getting fatter and living longer.

Osteoarthritis is a painful disease of the joints, affecting 8.8 million people in Britain aged above 45. More than 18 per cent of this group have the disorder in their knees. Yet scientists who studied more than 2,500 skeletons, from prehistoric hunter-gatherers to the present, discovered that rates of osteoarthritis had surged over the past few decades after centuries of stability.

Daniel Lieberman, professor of biological sciences at Harvard University and a senior author of the paper, said that many cases could be averted if doctors could determine what had driven the change over the past 70 years. The researchers are investigating whether factors such as physical inactivity, diets loaded with refined sugars, the shoes we wear and even the hardness of pavements could lie behind the increase.

“Knee osteoarthritis is not a necessary consequence of old age,” Professor Lieberman said. “We should think of this as a partly preventable disease. Wouldn’t it be great if people could live to be 60, 70 or 80 and never get knee osteoarthritis in the first place? Right now, our society is barely focusing on prevention . . . so we need to redirect more interest toward preventing this and other so-called diseases of ageing.”

In osteoarthritis, the cartilage protecting the ends of bones gets rougher and thinner, leading to changes in the joint tissues. Eventually, if the cartilage wears so thin that it no longer covers the ends of the bones, they rub against each other, heightening pain, changing the shape of the joint and shifting the bones out of position. Three quarters of those with osteoarthritis say that they are in constant pain. Treatment is generally limited to painkillers or steroid injections into the joint. For severe cases, the only further option is an artificial joint. In 2015 people with the condition accounted for 98 per cent of patients having a first knee replacement.

Ian Wallace, the study’s lead author, visited collections of human remains across the United States to look for the glass-like polish that the condition leaves on the thigh and shin bones over years of rubbing against each other. Rates of knee osteoarthritis among the over-50s appear hardly to have changed between the native Americans 3,000 years ago and the inhabitants of Ohio and Missouri in the first half of the 20th century. After the war, however, they more than doubled. The trend, set out in the journal PNAS, remained even after the researchers corrected for age and body-mass index.

“There are probably a lot of contributing factors,” Dr Wallace said, “but . . . two conspicuous ones are physical inactivity and the abundance of proinflammatory foods in our diet — especially really sugary things.”

Philip Conaghan, professor of musculoskeletal medicine and a spokesman for the charity Arthritis Research UK, welcomed the study. “The more we know about what causes it, the closer we will be to finding more effective treatments and even a cure,” he said. “We absolutely agree that there should be more focus on prevention.”

How to keep healthy knees

  • Exercise regularly, both to strengthen your muscles and to maintain aerobic fitness. But don’t overdo it: if your joints are swollen or painful, rest them before exercising again
  • Maintain a healthy weight, or lose weight if you are too heavy. Extra weight increases the stress on your joints
  • Avoid repetitive motions that are tough on your joints, such as excessive kneeling, twisting, or lifting
  • Regulate your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes. Research has implicated diabetes as a risk factor for osteoarthritis

Posted in Education, Featured, News0 Comments

Minister of Education Myron Walwyn Myron-Walwyn-3-1

Walwyn silent amid outrage over ‘top student’

The usually vocal education minister Myron Walwyn has opted to be silent as calls mount for him to be more transparent and fair regarding his choice of the territory’s top student in recent exams administered by the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC).

In a statement to some media houses on Friday, Walwyn announced that the territory’s top CXC student is Gabriella Chicester, who was enrolled in the recently established Grade 12 at Elmore Stoutt High School – a public institution.

But some education stakeholders who contacted BVI News Online said the top performer should be Chris-Tiann Roberts of St George’s Secondary – a private school, which did not subscribe to the minister’s recent push to introduce Grade 12 in the education system.

Stakeholders, who asked not to be named out of fear of the education minister, think the private school student was not named top performer, because that would be a blow to the minister’s decision to introduce an extra school year (Grade 12) in the school system.

In essence, they theorize that the education minister is trying to save his own face and to punish the private school. Hence his ‘willy nilly’ decision to go against a regionally accepted norm in assessing who is the top CXC student.

CAPE has no place in assessment

Across the Caribbean, countries determine their top CXC performer based on a single CXC exam known as the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC).

That is because CSEC is the only mandatory exam, and arguably the only one that provides a level playing field for assessing all (not just some) students leaving secondary schools.

Other CXC exams – including the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) – are not mandatory in secondary schools, and are not pursued by an overwhelming majority of students leaving secondary schools across the region.

Here in the British Virgin Islands, CAPE is also not mandatory, and it is not yet clearly structured in the education system. In other words, students who pursue CAPE do so on their own accord.

That controversial exam, nonetheless, is what the education minister said he brought into the equation to declare Chicester the territory’s top CXC student.

Had CAPE not been considered, the top student would instead be Roberts, considering that she is the most successful in CSEC – the only CXC exam that is mandatory here.

Roberts was successful in a whopping 12 CSEC subjects; 11 of which the minister said were attained with Grade One – the highest grade possible. Those grades placed Roberts among the best CSEC performers in the history of CXC across the entire Caribbean.

Hidden grades

Chicester, on the other hand, passed 10 CSEC subjects. The education minister did not reveal her specific grades – something his critics say is questionable. Chicester’s grades would have been necessary for the public to judge her CSEC performance against Roberts’.

What the minister did, however, was to disclose that Chicester passed two subjects in CAPE – the exam that, as stated before, is not mandatory and not pursued by most students in the British Virgin Islands and other countries across the Caribbean.

One of the disgruntled education stakeholders told BVI News Online: “No one is disputing that both students performed well, but the fact remains that one did better than the other. The minister should come clean, and stop putting the students through this distress. He does not have to take anything away from Gabriella Chicester. But he should also declare Chris-Tiann Roberts is the top CSEC or CXC student too. He can’t just do things as he finds them convenient. There should be clear guidelines – clear to all of us, not just to him and to his friends.”

When contacted, the education minister, Walwyn, declined to respond to the call for transparency and fairness. He told BVI News Online to contact a particular examination officer on Monday.

Posted in Education, Local, Regional, Youth0 Comments

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The Montserrat Reporter - August 18, 2017

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