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No more Cambridge Examinations in Montserrat

According to a recent press release from the Ministry of Education “from 2012, the subjects that were written with Cambridge will now be done with the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC).”

The release informed  “that the University of Cambridge is no longer offering GCE O Level examinations to its Administrative Zone 2”, which includes Montserrat and most of the Eastern Caribbean countries.

The Ministry said that, Cambridge has been encouraging Montserrat to write the examinations with its Administrative Zone 3. “…but at this area’s key time – that is, 0900 and 1300 GMT respectively.  This means that examinations will begin 4:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time respectively,” The Ministry said, adding that “Cambridge has stipulated that these times must be observed.”

The Press Release stated that the time Cambridge has stipulated would be inconvenient for the candidates, and so with immediate effect, “candidates will no longer be writing examinations with the University of Cambridge.”

The release informed: “The Ministry of Education and the Montserrat Secondary School have weighed the matter carefully and has come to the conclusion that it would not be in the best interest of our students and private candidates to write examinations at that inconvenient time in the morning. Therefore, from 2012, the subjects that were written with Cambridge will now be done with the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC).”

The decision is not going down well with private teachers who say that they have been well underway with their tuition of children wishing to write the GCE examinations. At least two of them have questioned the wisdom of the decision without first finding out from students, parents and other stakeholders whether they would be willing to write the exams and the Cambridge stipulated time, suggesting any inconvenience, if any, could be easily overcome.

In a ‘side’ following a Health finance press conference, Minister of Education Hon. Colin Riley speaking to the press responded to the question on the comments preceding. He said that the CXC has invented the Caribbean Advance Proficiency Examination (CAPE) which was equivalent to GCE Advance Proficiency. He said further the CAPE was acceptable for the matriculation and entrance to the civil service.

“In the new system you can have an exam each year and there is an associate degree that you can access through CXC. So the innovations we have made through the Caribbean Examination Council now give us the opportunity to move away completely from Cambridge,” Mr. Riley said adding that the Ministry of Education has done the students the favour by having them go through a system that gives them an exam each year with the potential for an associate degree.

He however noted that he would take the concerns mentioned above and draw them to the attention of the education officials in the ministry, with a view to seeing how students may be facilitated.

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According to a recent press release from the Ministry of Education “from 2012, the subjects that were written with Cambridge will now be done with the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC).”

The release informed  “that the University of Cambridge is no longer offering GCE O Level examinations to its Administrative Zone 2”, which includes Montserrat and most of the Eastern Caribbean countries.

The Ministry said that, Cambridge has been encouraging Montserrat to write the examinations with its Administrative Zone 3. “…but at this area’s key time – that is, 0900 and 1300 GMT respectively.  This means that examinations will begin 4:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time respectively,” The Ministry said, adding that “Cambridge has stipulated that these times must be observed.”

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The Press Release stated that the time Cambridge has stipulated would be inconvenient for the candidates, and so with immediate effect, “candidates will no longer be writing examinations with the University of Cambridge.”

The release informed: “The Ministry of Education and the Montserrat Secondary School have weighed the matter carefully and has come to the conclusion that it would not be in the best interest of our students and private candidates to write examinations at that inconvenient time in the morning. Therefore, from 2012, the subjects that were written with Cambridge will now be done with the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC).”

The decision is not going down well with private teachers who say that they have been well underway with their tuition of children wishing to write the GCE examinations. At least two of them have questioned the wisdom of the decision without first finding out from students, parents and other stakeholders whether they would be willing to write the exams and the Cambridge stipulated time, suggesting any inconvenience, if any, could be easily overcome.

In a ‘side’ following a Health finance press conference, Minister of Education Hon. Colin Riley speaking to the press responded to the question on the comments preceding. He said that the CXC has invented the Caribbean Advance Proficiency Examination (CAPE) which was equivalent to GCE Advance Proficiency. He said further the CAPE was acceptable for the matriculation and entrance to the civil service.

“In the new system you can have an exam each year and there is an associate degree that you can access through CXC. So the innovations we have made through the Caribbean Examination Council now give us the opportunity to move away completely from Cambridge,” Mr. Riley said adding that the Ministry of Education has done the students the favour by having them go through a system that gives them an exam each year with the potential for an associate degree.

He however noted that he would take the concerns mentioned above and draw them to the attention of the education officials in the ministry, with a view to seeing how students may be facilitated.