Communique – 41st CXC Meeting in BVI

41st Meeting of the Caribbean Examinations Council

British Virgin Islands

The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) held its 41st Meeting under the Chairmanship of Professor E Nigel Harris, Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies at the Treasure Isle Hotel, British Virgin Islands on 4th December 2009.  The Council last met in the BVI in 1994. The Council recorded its appreciation to the Government and people of the British Virgin Islands for hosting the meeting.

Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony and presentation of awards was held at the HLS Community College’s Auditorium on Thursday 3rd December.

Delivering the feature address, Honourable Andrew Fahie, Minister of Education and Culture in the British Virgin Islands said CXC is a very significant institution in the Caribbean region. He said for CXC to remain relevant it must constantly review its processes and ensure its examinations meet the needs of the region.

“You must use knowledge to transform the region,” Minister Fahie told the 15 regional top awardees. “There is a difference between getting an education and being educated; seek to be educated,” he stated.

The Minister told the students to strive for excellence and allow the knowledge gained to lead to action.

Professor Nigel Harris, Chairman of CXC congratulated the award winners and in particularly Queen’s College, Guyana for producing the best overall CSEC candidate for the fourth consecutive year.

Professor Harris, who is also the Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, noted that while CXC is a regional examination body it certifies students for the world.

The Chairman explained that CXC is staying ahead of the curve and maintaining its credibility as it becomes a technology-driven organization.

Top Awards

During the Opening Ceremony held on the night of Thursday, 3rd December, students received awards for outstanding performances in examinations for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and in the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE).

For CSEC, Kia Persaud from Queen’s College, Guyana, received the award for most outstanding performance overall with Grade I in 14 subjects.

Two other students from Guyana also received awards. Padminee Roshundatt also of Queen’s College received the award for best performance in the Sciences with 14 Grade Is. The award for Business Education went to Sonya Yacoob of the New Amsterdam Multilateral High School with 11 Grade Is.

The award for Humanities went to Jovelle Lewis of Holy Name Convent, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. Jovelle achieved nine subjects at Grade I.

Three Jamaican students received awards for outstanding performance at CSEC. Norman Tai of York Castle High School won the award for Technical/Vocation Education with Grade I in nine subjects and a Grade II in one subject. Theresa Cann of Bishop Gibson High School received the award for Visual Arts – 2-Dimensional work; and Shantal Pellington of Excelsior High School received the award for the Best Short Story in the English A examination.

Karishma Dhera of the Government High School, Montserrat won the award for the Visual Arts – 3-Dimensional work.

For CAPE, Rashad Brathwaite of Harrison College, Barbados received the Dennis Irvine award for most outstanding performance overall with 12 Grade Is. Rashad also received awards for outstanding performance in Modern Languages and the Humanities. Another Barbadian, Alisia Sheppard, also from Harrison College, received the award for best performance in Technical Studies.

Four other students from Trinidad and Tobago received awards for outstanding performance at CAPE. Shivana Sharma of Lakshmi Girls’ Hindu School received the award for Business Studies; Chantal Cave of St Joseph’s Convent, Port of Spain received for the award for Natural Sciences; Kiron Neale of Presentation College, San Fernando received the awards for Environmental Science; and Stuart Deoraj of Presentation College, Chaguanas received the award for Mathematics.

Kenny Huang of Campion College, Jamaica received the award for Information and Communication Technology.

Presentations were also made to Queen’s College, Guyana and Harrison College, Barbados for CSEC and CAPE School of the Year respectively.

Two BVIslanders were honoured at the ceremony; Mrs Jeannie Wheatley, who was a member of the first CSEC English Panel for the 1979 examination, was presented with a gift from CXC as the Council celebrates the 30th Anniversary of offering its first examinations in 1979.

Mrs Valentine Lewis, who has been the CXC Local Registrar in the BVI for 12 years; in education for 42 years, and in the public service for 44 years, was also presented with a gift by Honourable Andrew Fahie on behalf of the Ministry of Education for her outstanding contribution to education.

The Government of Barbados also presented prizes to Rashad Brathwaite and Alisia Sheppard, the two CAPE regional top awardees from Harrison College, Barbados. Dr Idamay Denny, Deputy Chief Education at the Ministry of Education in Barbados, on behalf of the Government of Barbados, presented the two students with cheques for $10, 000.00 and $5,000.00 respectively.

MOU with UWI Open Campus

During the opening ceremony, CXC and The University of the West Indies Open Campus signed a Memorandum of Understanding for collaboration on teacher training.

The MOU provides for the development of an on-line diploma/certificate in education. The certification enables teachers to better delivery CXC syllabuses and the development of content with master teachers and curriculum development specialists.

The collaboration will initially focus on Mathematics and English for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC).

Courtesy Calls

The top students along with a CXC delegation paid courtesy calls on the His Excellency David Pearey, Governor of the BVI; Honourable Dancia Penn, Acting Premier; Mrs V Inez Archibald, Deputy Governor;  and the Honourable Andrew Fahie, Minister of Education and Culture.

Registrar’s Report

Council received the 2009 Annual Report presented by Dr Didacus Jules, CXC Registrar. Dr Jules highlighted the major achievements under the goals of the Strategic Plan 2008 to 2010.

The Council received a report on the achievements of goals outlined in the 2008 – 2010 Strategic Plan. Among the highlights were the increases in candidate and subject entries for CAPE, CCSLC and CSEC May/June examinations in 2009; a four-percent improvement in performance at CSEC; the revision of three CSEC and three CAPE syllabuses; the development of a new syllabus for Additional Mathematics, which will examined for the first time in 2012; and the technological transformation that is taking place at the Council; a pilot project on electronic marking and the formation and work of the Business Development Unit.

Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence

Council noted that for the third sitting for the Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC) there was a 300 percent increase in both candidate and subject entries.

Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC)

This was the 30th year the CSEC examinations were being offered. Council received a report on activities hosted to commemorate the milestone.

Thirty three subjects were examined for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) in the May/June examinations. There was a four percent improvement in performance in the May/June sitting.

Candidate entries and subject increased both increased this year. The number of candidate submitting entries this year was 143, 489 compared 143 017 in 2008 and the number of subject entries were 557 425 up from 544 886 last year.

The Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE)

Forty-five Units in 24 subjects were examined. Information Technology Unit 2 was examined for the first time.

The candidate entries increased from 22 782 last year to 24 183 this year and Unit entries increased from 86 360 last year to 93 648 this year.

Caribbean Vocational Qualification

The second Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) certificates were issued this year. Two territories, St Kitts/Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago submitted entries this year.

Three hundred and five CVQs were issued to students from Trinidad and Tobago and 21 were issued to students from St Kitts/Nevis.


The Council approved the budget for 2010 of 50-million, 304-thousand dollars. The budget provides for key areas such as syllabus development and review, examination preparation and administration, business development, technology renewal, human resource management, research and development and marketing and public relations.

Other Matters

The Council receives tremendous support from the governments of the 16 Participating Territories and from an extensive network of teachers and resource persons from across the region. The Chairman thanked staff and the many people who contributed to the work of the Council and looks forward to their continued support in 2010.

The Chairman expressed special thanks to the Government of the British Virgin Islands for agreeing to host the Council meeting and for the courtesies extended to all delegates.

For further information, please contact Cleveland Sam, Assistant Registrar, Public Information on telephone number (246) 227 1892.


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