This fall in numbers applied to the situation at the Basseterre based Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College, (CFBC) and at the Sixth Form of the Charlestown Secondary School in Nevis.
The CAPE examinations are those taken by students in the Division of Arts, Sciences and General Studies at both institutions. The students write CAPE examinations at Unit 1 and Unit 2 in selected subject areas, usually taking Unit 1 in their first year of study and Unit 2 in their second year.
Minister of Education, Nigel Carty at the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College, for the academic year ending 2012, 397 students registered for the CAPE examinations compared to 550 in 2011 and 456 in 2010. However the figures were slightly higher than those 3 years ago when 372 registered in 2009.
However, preliminary analysis shows that there has been an increase in the number of students enrolling in the Division of Technical and Vocational Education and Management Studies at the CFBC. Carty attributes this to government’s focus on TVET, that is, Technical and Vocational Education and Training, in recent times.
There were 1,422 registered subject entries, 68 percent or 966 being Unit 1 courses, and 32 percent or 456 being Unit 2 courses. The disparity between the number of unit 1 and unit 2 entries, as indicated may be indicative of significant repetition of unit 1 courses and/or drop-out at year 1 instead of continuing on to year 2. Of the 1,422 subject entries, 1,315 returned graded results.
Of the Unit 1 courses, the most popularly taken were Caribbean Studies, Economics, Environmental Science, Information Technology, Management of Business and Sociology. Significant entries were also registered in Accounting, Biology, Chemistry, Law and Pure Mathematics.
Given the trend of performance in Mathematics throughout the Caribbean Region, Carty said it is quite heartening to point to 29 students at the CFBC and 16 at Charlestown Secondary School sitting the Pure Mathematics examination at CAPE. He reported that the least popular courses included French, Spanish, Literature, Physics, Art and Design, Geography, Literature, Computer Science and Applied Mathematics.
For Unit 2, the most popular courses were Economics, Environmental Science, Law, Management of Business and Sociology.
There were 8 subjects returning a 100% pass rate at CAPE Unit 1 for the CFBC: Applied Mathematics, Art and Design, Environmental Science, French, Literature, Physics and Spanish. The Unit 2 courses producing a 100% pass rate were: Art and Design, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Information Technology and Physics.
Of the 1422 registered subject entries at the CFBC for the 2012 examinations, 83.8% or 1,191 entries returned a passing grade. This represents the highest pass rate over the last 4 years.
There were some courses that attained less than a 50% pass rate: Information Technology Unit 1, Law Unit 1, and Spanish Unit 2.
Minister Carty said his department is continuing to encourage high participation rates at CAPE in Foreign Languages, Mathematics and the natural sciences, in particular. These, he said, represent areas of challenge, but they are also opportunities for young people.