Nadisha Hunter, Staff Reporter
Despite the poor performance by some students in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC), which resulted in a drastic decline in averages for some subjects, more persons still managed to score grade ones in eight or more subjects compared to last year.
Four hundred and two Jamaican candidates got ones in between eight and 12 subjects compared to 309 last year.
The figures provided by the Ministry of Education indicated that 232 persons got ones in eight subjects, 124 got ones in nine subjects, 34 persons excelled with 10 ones, 11 got 11 ones and one person managed to cop a one in 12 subjects.
Breaking the figures down to public institutions only, 231 students got ones in eight subjects, 121 got nine ones, 33 were successful with 10 ones, 10 students got 11 ones and one candidate got 12 ones. This represents 396 students, an increase over last year, which had 305 students.
In commending the students' performances, Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites pointed to the involvement of parents and dedicated teachers as the reason for the success.
"I want to congratulate them and their parents and I will think that most of them have caring parents, dedicated teachers and a good early-childhood experience which are the ingredients for success," he said.
Thwaites further stated that despite the spike in the number of students getting straight ones, more emphasis must be placed on students who are struggling, so that the overall results can be improved.
"We really need to look at those in the middle and those at the lower end who need upgrading because that is where the problem is," he argued.
Strategies to address the problem
He said the Ministry of Education was already designing strategies which could address the dismal problem.
"I am encouraging persons to go to the schools to speak and read to these students in English.We will be having literacy and numeracy specialists and certainly we are going to roll out the virtual education process where we are to have the best of lectures and demonstrations electronically rather than only what they get in the classroom.
"Further, we are meeting with the teachers' colleges to see how they can quickly upgrade the standards among their students," he added.
There was a decline in passes this year in several subjects, most notably in English language.
Forty-six per cent of the students passed English language, a significant drop from a pass rate of 63.9 per cent last year.
Meanwhile, 31.7 per cent of students who sat mathematics attained passes, which is a slight decrease from 33.2 per cent last year.