The Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC) is intended to benefit all students at the secondary level.

Chief Education Officer, Laurie King, issued this reminder to Principals of public and private secondary schools when they attended a review of the implementation of the CCSLC, at the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, at the Elsie Payne Complex, Constitution Road, St. Michael towards the end of last term.

Mr. King emphasised that the CCSLC, introduced in September 2013, was a competency-based foundation course which seamlessly articulated into CSEC and CVQ subjects.??He told principals that with its introduction, Barbados would witness a widening of the certification framework options for students.

Senior Education Officer in the Curriculum Section, Fernando Carter, observed that the programme was the outcome of several years of discussion and planning in response to the desire to ensure that the skills and abilities of every student were adequately documented and acknowledged on graduation from the secondary level.

Also, on hand was Senior Assistant Registrar with the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), Susan Giles, who provided further details on the initiative, developed by CXC, but modified by Barbados to suit its own educational needs.

She said: ???At CXC, we recognised that on average a majority of our candidates who write examinations are only certified in one or two subjects.??The CCSLC provides an opportunity for students who will not reach the CSEC level to have some measure of certification.???

Citing Jamaica as an example, she pointed out that CCSLC was used by ???out of school candidates???, who wanted certification in Mathematics and Language-Arts but might be unable to follow a CSEC syllabus.??Ms. Giles stressed that CCSLC was therefore used as a way of certifying those students ???to prove to employers and organizations that they had covered some material???.

It was further noted that the programme allowed students who were following a Science stream the opportunity to be certified in modern languages or in the Humanities or vice versa.

CCSLC prepares students for CSEC, and according to Ms. Giles, nothing they do within this programme is ever wasted, as the syllabuses are developed with persons who work with the CSEC and CAPE courses and as a result there is a relationship in their expected outcomes.

For candidates to be eligible for CCSLC, they must complete five areas of study and attain the grade of Mastery or Competent. While CXC only insists on students pursuing Language/English and Mathematics, there is flexibility for territories to select other areas of study as part of CCSLC.

The CXC representative said: ???Areas could be taken from CSEC Business Studies group, where we accept Grades 1 to 4; Creative Arts programmes, TVET subjects from other examining boards, such as Heart Trust in Jamaica, The Royal School of Music and if there is a certified dance programme and your territory wants to use that we will accept that; you can use CVQ Level 1 programmes or as Barbados has opted to do, a locally developed programme. So it is a flexible programme???

??????We have said to territories whatever your focus is you can use that area as certification for your students. So, if a particular territory wants to focus on agriculture , you may say ???Okay???, we want to insist that everybody who is certified in CCSLC has some kind of certification in an agricultural subject and that will become one of our core. But we only insist on Mathematics and Language.???

CCSLC is assessed at two levels – the school-based assessment and the teacher assessment. In addition, content experts are hired by CXC to examine samples of work done by students.??A report is then developed and shared with the school to afford teachers and principals the opportunity to examine how students performed based on the requirements of the syllabus.

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