|??From left: CXC Registrar, Dr. Didacus Jules; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Bruce Alleyne; Minister of Education, ROnald Jones; and Direcotr of NT International, Wendy Rimmington, look over one of the texts.
Two texts produced by the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) in conjunction with Nelson Thornes Publishers, have come in for praise by Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones, for the benefits they will provide to all secondary students.
The Mathematics and English books for the Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC) were launched recently at the Savannah Hotel with Minister Jones addressing a group of educators and publishers whom he told: "What makes teachers assume ownership of the curricula they have been entrusted to teach is the ready availability of resource materials that add value to their pedagogical activities."
He added, "By providing these resources, the CXC has shown its commitment to ensuring that its mandate of providing adequate resources which support their subject offerings is realised."
Stressing his Ministry’s support for the texts, he said they possessed "a regional flair which will make them more relevant and appealing to local and regional students."
The CCSLC programme was also praised by Minister Jones, who spoke of the island’s push to ensure students completed a core group of subjects on leaving school.?? He said: "It has been accepted by the Cabinet of Barbados that we will in fact be dealing with the full core. Mathematics, English, Integrated Science (Integrated Science or some other, once developed) and Social Studies and/or History depending on what is on the plate of the Caribbean Examination Council.
"We believe that our children must have the core as part of that remit and then they can add any of the other disciplines as produced by CXC. And, we are also adding to that enrichment programmes what people call life skills development processes …"
The Education Minister further noted that by 2012, the first set of our students should be writing the CCSLC in the various disciplines. He explained: "We have also argued that at age 14, some 30% of our students should be satisfying the CCSLC; at age 15, you add another 33%, that would take it to 63% between ages 14 and 15; because you take this exam when you are ready."
He maintained the test would not be "forced down the throats of children", observing that by age 16 some 82 per cent should be writing the CCSLC. He revealed that any students, who at 16 exit [school] without fully satisfying (the examiners), there still would be opportunity built into the system that they, as part of a second chance, would be able to benefit from the CCSLC.
Meanwhile, Registrar of the CXC, Didacus Jules noted the launch was a "historic moment" for the Council, marking the first tangible output from the strategic alliance with leading international education publishers, Nelson Thornes.
He acknowledged the collaborative effort of regional educators and stakeholders, as well as feedback from teachers to ensure that the text met the needs and aims of the CCSLC, a programme launched in June 2007.
In explaining the programme, Mr. Jules said: "The CCSLC is designed to certify the knowledge generic and subject specific, competencies, attitudes and values that all secondary school leavers should have attained…Generic competencies include problem solving, critical thinking working in groups, management of emotions, positive self-concepts and dealing with diversity and change. The subject specific competencies include oral and written communication skills, mathematical and scientific literacy, social and citizenship skills, and foreign language ability."
Five subjects make up the CCSLC, of which English and Mathematics are compulsory and learners have a range of options from which they can choose the other three subjects to be eligible for the award of this certificate.