|Dismal exam scores continue|
Guardian Senior Reporter
Published: Aug 08, 2012
Students sitting the 2012 Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGSCE) exams received an average letter grade of D in English Language and E+ in Mathematics, according to data from the Ministry of Education.
However, the two subjects are among 19 that saw an improvement compared to results from last year, a report prepared on the 2012 BGCSE results noted.
In 2011, the mean grade for Mathematics was an E- and a D for English Language, which did not see a letter grade improvement this year but had a GPA increase, the data showed.
Minister of Education, Science and Technology Jerome Fitzgerald said in spite of the increase in certain areas, his ministry is unhappy with the scores, which he said showed students’ weakness in math and reading skills.
“As in the case with the BJC results, an improvement is noted in the overall performance of schools throughout the country,” he said at a press conference at the Ministry of Education. “But while there has been improvement, we at the ministry are not satisfied that our graduates as a whole are sufficiently equipped or prepared for the 21st century workforce.
“Therefore, we still have a lot of work to do and a very long way to go. We accept that reading, grammar and mathematics are weak and we know that we have to create a stronger foundation.”
To help bolster students’ performance in those areas, in September the Ministry of Education plans to double reading periods for students in grades 1 to 3 and increase math periods by almost 50 percent, Fitzgerald said.
Eleven subjects saw an increase in letter grades this year when compared to 2011: Art and Design B, rose to B- from C; Bookkeeping/Accounts rose to D from D-; Clothing Construction rose to D+ from D; Combined Science rose to C- from D+; Commerce rose to D+ from D; Economics rose to D+ from D; Electrical Installation rose to D+ from D-; Graphical Communication rose to C from C-; Music rose to C from C-; Office Procedures rose to C- from D and, as noted, math rose to E+ from E-.
Eight subjects showed an improvement in grade point average (GPA) this year when compared to last year: Art and Design C; Auto Mechanics; English Language; French; Geography; History; Physics and Spanish.
Six subjects saw a decline in performance this year compared to 2011: Art and Design A; Biology; Chemistry; Food and Nutrition; Carpentry and Joinery and Religious Studies.
The performance in two subjects, Literature and Keyboarding, remained unchanged at C- and D+ respectively.
According to the data, the highest percentage of grades awarded — 26 percent — was a C.
The results show that 947 students received a C or above in five or more subjects compared to 937 students who scored similarly in 2011, representing a 1.07 increase.
This year, 1,594 candidates got a minimum grade of D in at least five subjects, representing a 2.54 percent increase from the 1,554 candidates who scored similarly in 2011, accordance to the report.
The report said that 7,117 students from 100 centers registered to sit the exam. This represents a 2.87 percentage decrease from 2011 when 7,327 candidates from 101 centers registered to take the exams.
This year, the Ministry of Education offered 27 subjects; however, the average number of subjects each student took was five.
Fitzgerald also revealed scores for the Bahamas Junior Certificate (BJC) exams.
Of the 10 BJC subjects offered, six showed an improvement in grade point averages: Craft Study; English Language; Mathematics; Religious Studies; Health Science and Social Studies.
Four subjects saw a decline this year: Art; General Science; Family and Consumer Science and Technical Drawing.
The ministry’s report said that 9,009 candidates from 23 centers were registered to take the BJC exams.
The national examinations are graded on a seven point scale A – G. Letters A, B, and C are considered above average; D is average while E, F, and G are below average.