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Bgcse Results: Mathematics E, English D+

Minister of Education Jerome Fitzgerald discussed emails involving Save the Bays in Parliament last year.

Minister of Education Jerome Fitzgerald discussed emails involving Save the Bays in Parliament last year.

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

EDUCATION Minister Jerome Fitzgerald yesterday insisted he was “encouraged” by this year’s Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) exam results despite an E average in mathematics and an English average of D+.

The 2015 Bahamas Junior Certificate (BJC) results were similar with the average grade in English decreasing from C- last year to D- this year. The average mathematics score for the BJC exam was E+ down from the average of D+ in 2014.

However, Mr Fitzgerald praised this year’s results saying when compared to 2014, the number of candidates achieving grades A to C in five or more BJC subjects increased by 6.07 per cent.

In addition, he said this year the largest number of A to D grades was awarded compared to the last five years. This is due to a higher volume of participants sitting this year’s BJC examinations because of new graduation criteria for ninth grade students.

The results were officially released yesterday during a press conference at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

“The results of our national examinations reflect that once again, the teachers and administrators throughout our archipelago have been focused on demonstrating their students’ successes across the ability range,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

“National examinations are designed to show what students know, understand and can do after having completed a prescribed course of study.

“Therefore the grades awarded to students are indicators of their achievement and their potential and not the sum total of their worth.”

He continued: “We would like to emphasise that we are focusing on subject performance and not a national average. Not all students take 11 subjects at the BJC, nor the 27 subjects at BGCSE and so to create a national average based on this information is not scientifically correct and would be misleading.”

At the BGCSE level, 11 subjects showed an improvement in mean letter grade: art and design A rose from C- to C; art and design B rose from C+ to B-; art and design C rose from C- to C+.

Other mean grade improvements were: biology from D- to D; economics rose from D+ to C; geography rose from C to C+; history rose from D+ to C-; combined science from D+ to C-; electrical installation rose from C- to C+; clothing construction rose from D+ to C; carpentry and joinery rose from C- to C; French rose from C- to C.

There was a decline in the performance of six subjects, including bookkeeping and accounts, commerce, literature, music, office procedures and physics.

While there have been slight improvements, Mr Fitzgerald said officials have noticed that the highest achievers were those students who attended after school classes that focus on examination preparation. He said the ministry was challenged with getting students in New Providence and Grand Bahama to utilise the assistance.

“Our major disappointment I would reiterate is the fact that those students who did not perform well, particularly at the BJC level, we were not satisfied that they took advantage of the extra classes that were provided for them despite the fact that they were free of charge and despite the fact that we promoted (it) heavily within the schools and with the parents.

“We saw where some of those students who took advantage of it benefited and those who did not we are still having a challenge and so this year we have to look more closely to see what we need to do to improve the attendance of those students.”

Mr Fitzgerald said while the turn around in the educational system is slow, officials must remain committed to across the board improvements.

Comments

newcitizen 4 years ago

I'm not sure what the minister is so "encouraged" about. The two most important subjects, English and Math saw big drops. Our education system fails to graduate more than 35% of students. We need to get all of these results over a C. We see an E average for math and it's easy to see why so many Bahamians have trouble balancing their personal finances.

Our failure in education is what leads to unemployment, crime, poor family planning, and health problems. The single biggest thing we can do to improve this country is to pour all of the money we are wasting in the government, into education.

Unemployment is at record high's because many Bahamians do not posses the skills to work in even entry level positions. They are capable but have not received even a basic level of education.

We are failing the next generation if we allow this sort of failed education system to continue. The best way to escape the trap of poverty is to get an education, and the more educated and middle class people we have in this country the better we will all be for it.

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Sickened 4 years ago

The PLP see it this way... "The results are positive because they could have been much worse!"

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ohdrap4 4 years ago

the math goes this way:

the avergae is inversely proportional to the number plp voters

the lower the average the more plp votes, now you all repeat after me---

the lower the average....

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Cobalt 4 years ago

Lol lol lol!! Now thats funny.

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Regardless 4 years ago

How does a nation with such a small population boast such horrible exam results? It is an embarrassment and probably the fodder of much laughter by other countries with much larger populations and lower GDP but produce a better educated citizen. Every politician since Independence should hang their head in shame. This is the primary contributor to the crime problem in this country and it is just getting started. Keeping people ignorant to feed them lies for a vote gets ugly when the ignorant cannot work and want all the bling they see on their TV.

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MonkeeDoo 4 years ago

You could bet your last dollar though that they know plenty bout Junkanoo.

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newcitizen 4 years ago

I would bet that they have very little idea of the history of Junkanoo or it's evolution into the parade it is today. They just know it's a party that they are supposed to participate in and that it started a long time ago.

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Abaconian 4 years ago

^ hit the nail on the head.

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hurricane 4 years ago

This should be a national emergency and heads should roll on these results. This country is tanking in so many aspects its sad to watch.

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digimagination 4 years ago

What is so sad and tragic is that there are many, many countries where English is the second language, yet for the most part the people of those countries by comparison articulate - and have a much better command of - the English language than the average Bahamian.

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jackbnimble 4 years ago

I agree. You can tell we have a low average in English even without these results. Just read some of the posts on social media. The grammar, the poor English, and the misspellings. And the people who have the most to say and constantly post comments are usually the worse ones. I am embarrassed for us.

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Zakary 4 years ago

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ThisIsOurs 4 years ago

That response looks just about right

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moncurcool 4 years ago

When I went to school, a passing grade was a C, and even then you did not want that. I am appalled that the Minister of Education gets up and is applauding the results, celebrating that they got the most passes ever in the A - D range. Did I miss something? Last time I checked a D is a failing grade. Is our Minister of Education applauding failure and trying to dress it up as passing.

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asiseeit 4 years ago

What is an E grade? Where did this even come from, who made it up? E= effort? I have never heard of an E grade, is this something the politicians made up to confuse the issue as always? In my day the grades where A,B,C......and fail, anything below a C was considered a FAIL grade and you had to take the subject again. Now they giving an E to say what, "it's OK you fail and most probably will be a burden on society but so us politicians do not look bad here is some made up E grade". These politicians live in a fantasy land all of their own making!

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TruePeople 4 years ago

i guess it's the grade before the F (fail) grade. Maybe it's a US thing

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ohdrap4 4 years ago

nope F is no longer a fail. there are meanings attached to grades F and G. Below that the grade is unclassified. And it is not a US thing, this was invented by the English who now realise the folly and will discontinue the easy GCSE exam--including religion-- because it is too watered down. tougher exams will be applied in english and math. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/artic...">http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/artic...

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Cobalt 4 years ago

While I agree with much of the above mentioned.... I think that we must also acknowledge that education is a two way street. We are all familiar with the common adage "you can lead a horse to the water, but you can't make it drink."

A huge problem in the Bahamas that we repeatedly choose to ignore is that our students, neither their parents, value a good education. We live in an age where knowledge and education is at our fingertips. It's readily available to those who want it. It's as simple as picking up a book, and studying its contents. The problem resides in the fact that too many Bahamian students are lazy and distracted! Instead of using after school hours to study, students can be seen loitering on Bay Street and in the Mall! And the parents of these students aren't setting a good example for them either. Infact, many of them are F students themselves.

Keep in mind.... Haitian students born to immigrants are doing well in school! Many of them are Head Boys and Head Girls at their respective schools. Bahamian students, on the other hand, are busy running around in the street attending Junkanoo practice until 11pm at night. They seem to have no problem leaving school with nothing in their heads. And neither do their parents.

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concernedcitizen 4 years ago

Lets call it what it is we went to Bahamization of teachers too fast ,,when they couldn,t pass abroad we made the college of the Bahamas ..When I went to school anything under 70% was a failure .I asked a student the other day and he said it is now 50%.My goodness with most test multiple choice you should be able to guess for at least a C ,.What is an F 40%..Just look on face book the majority of people under 50 can,t even spell ,we may tink ,dis ,.dat ,and dese is cute but in the really world it does not fly .Whats the use we are a violent falling state .We keep whipping the crap out of kids when every enlightened country knows discipline with violence produces violent adults ..Fifteen more years for me and like my Parents I am saving and investing to retire elsewhere .

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All4One 4 years ago

It's been apparent from his appointment that this minister is either completely ignorant of the educational needs of the nation, or dangerously apathetic. He doesn't know, and he definitely doesn't care. I don't know why I'm consistently shocked by how shortsighted most of these cabinet ministers are when it comes to nation building. Because they are clearly only concerned with feathering their own nests, speaking in sound bites, and blaming everyone else - usually the opposition - for their own shortcomings! Could they really be so concerned with retaining their control of the Treasury's purse strings that they would ignore the critical state of our educational system?? And they all seem to have this surreal belief that the people will believe any and all ridiculous pronouncement that they make! How can Bahamian's be empowered if they don't have a sound basic education? Crime is skyrocketing, the economy is crumbling, and unemployment is on the rise, but no one seems willing to point out that the emperor has no clothes....

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concernedcitizen 4 years ago

We have lowered the passing grade to 50% ,from 70% when i attend school and we can,t achieve that .

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Clamshell 4 years ago

Virtually nobody in high school in the Bahamas can read, write or count, and the education minister is "encouraged". Splendid.

Do you think the Brits would take us back, if we begged?

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Reader 4 years ago

And how much money does the Bahamian taxpayer spend each year on education to achieve these encouraging results?

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Stapedius 4 years ago

I don't see this as a political issue and we have to stop analyzing it as such. The decline in educational standards have been ongoing for years and successive governments appear impotent to do anything about it. The main part of the problem is that there is a segment of the population who believe it's cool to be stupid. Parents are just as much to blame as an ineffective education system. Many parents seem to not find the time to go over homework with their kids or attend PTA meetings to follow their children's progress. Then we sit back and blame governments. True, the government has to take some responsibility for not fostering the best learning environment for our kids ie. unsafe campuses, poor facilities etc. But we cannot continue to blame others for what is a collective societal failure. Employers accept and hire people who cannot read, write or do simple arithmetic. So what do we expect? We have a singing bishop who can't form a proper sentence and gets all kind of media coverage. It seems as though ignorance and illiteracy is ubiquitous in our society.

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sheeprunner12 4 years ago

It is time to tell the truth Mr. Minister............ separate the public school grades from the private and home school grades ........... then begin to reward the schools that are performing and financially sterilize the schools that are not (public or private) ......... you must perform at least at a D average to stay in the education business ......... we need REFORM

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John 4 years ago

Do you really expect children to focus and obtain good grades in New providence? I bet the Family Island grades are better by at least two points. Nassau is no longer conducive to learning... Too many distractions

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sansoucireader 4 years ago

In the 'olden days' you did well in school and got an education so you could get a good job and earn a good salary. Nowadays you can sell dope, traffic guns or humans, be a hit man or work in prostitution; it's all about the $$$$ so who needs school? That's the mindset in most of the Bahamas today (sadly).

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John 4 years ago

When I was in school I had two brothers. One was a grade above me. He never took school seriously and always had bad grades. The brother below me did as much studying as I did and put as much time and effort into his school work as I did but his grades we're not as good as mine. So I use to be the yardstick that the other two brothers was measured by. And it was not a good feeling. Eventually the three of us managed to set up and run our own businesses that were successful until the recession hit in 2008. The point being that everyone was not meant to be book smart. We must redesign our Education system to capitalize on the other potentials of individuals who may not be book smart. The time when we are led to believe that Bahamians are dumb and lazy must come to an end. Those are lies spread by opportunist who want to exploit us and rape the natural resources of our country. Rebuke them in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, AMEN

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Stapedius 4 years ago

I agree with you John. We should not all be measured by these traditional models of education. The issues for me are the basics. If you can't do basic math or write a simple letter that's a problem. I've seen carpenters and contractors underestimate work then they run out of material and the owner gets screwed. We at least have to grasp the basics. This includes; simple math, basic language skills and knowing what it means to be punctual. Basic skills which are lacking in many Bahamian companies

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Cobalt 4 years ago

Rubbish!!!

First of all.... these grades are not reflective of a small percentage of our students! Quite the contrary! This is the NATIONAL scholastic aptitude test results for the MAJORITY of our students!! So what you're suggesting is that the MAJORITY of our students are not book-smart so we need to consider redirecting our educational curriculum to accommodate them??? Please!! Only donkies hear nonsense!!

Second of all, this is BASIC education! Not a college degree program! No matter your walk in life, everyone needs a BASIC education! No matter your occupation, everyone should possess basic arithmetic and literacy skills. People who are not necessarily "book smart" still need to know the English Language and a certain degree of basic Algebra! In case you haven't realized.... it's a must have in these times. The entire world that we live in is predicated and built upon scientific and chemical laws which govern our universe! Our understanding of these laws is what liberates and emancipates us from the bondage of ignorance! Even the bible admonishes us to study to show ourselves approved unto God!

You're attempting to justify the failures of these students by presenting them as victims when they're not! Bahmian students are NOT dumb.... but they are lazy, detached, and have proven unwilling to commit themselves to a specific, particular discipline! They lack discipline in their lives and (thanks to people like you) have been conditioned to think that they're entitled to some easy, modified way in life! But natural selection dictates that it doesn't work like that! These children need to get their hip in their books and embrace academics and the presuit of knowledge! It's only going to make them better. Stop talking foolishness, John! Lazy minded people like you are always seeking a way to discredit conventional education! Simply because it's hard and requires discipline!

If you were the standard by which your siblings were measured.... it's no wonder your business failed! It's not the economy. It's your thought process. If our students think like you..... then they'll fail like you.

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John 4 years ago

First of all Cobolt I expect no more from you because you have proven time and time again that not only are you a racist (that turns blue with poison). But you despise Bahamians to the bone. While I said our businesses were successful until the recession hit in 2008 I never said they failed. Sometimes you have to make economic decisions to determine the way forward and whilst I will not go into specifics when it is no longer feasible to continue to operate a sensible person will cut their losses. And when you explore other opportunities that prove to be more beneficial that is not failure, that is wise decision making. It is ignorance and prejudice on your part to judge it as such. Further you don't know me to know if Inam lazy minded and it is people like you that come into this country and try to belittle and exploit Bahamians. You try to get them to do all the work while you reap all the benefits. When Bahamians get wise to your game and refuse to be a modern day slave you despise and ridicule them even more. There are very few Bahamians that are functionally illiterate, as you claim and most Bahamians, despite poor grades in school, are trainable and do become a functional part of the work force. It is venomous and destructive persons like you that come here and try to belittle them and destroy their esteem and self worth. The bible refers to you as a"a dirty dog that refuse to bark". The truth is not in you.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years ago

Whether Cobalt is a Bahamian or a foreigner is totally irrelevant. Personal attack aside, his comments immediately above directed at the failure of our public education system are justified by the facts.

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Cobalt 4 years ago

John..... One only need read your post to determine that you are probably a product of the F average. Maybe this is why you so vigorously defend these F students.

I'm not here to engage in a public debate or war of words with you over the definition of success. If you do not know by this time that there are only two options available to a business... then I rest my case on this matter.

You conveniently ignored the gist of my original argument, choosing instead to deviate on a tangent of perceived racism and self-vindication. These are all typical defense mechanism of a person attempting to compensate for something. I actually think that you would make a good candidate for a psychological case-study being conducted here at the hospital in conjunction with rehabilitation center.

Your above post is once again littered with nonsense pertaining to slavery and lack of self worth and self esteem. What are you talking about??? You seem to have a very serious inferiority complex that has undoubtably consumed you. I've told you before that I'm a black, born, proud, Bahamian. The only difference between you and I is that my parents sent me to a good school and taught me how to critically think! Stop turning this into a black and white issue. You're not a slave anymore! Wake up. Education is free.

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Reality_Check 4 years ago

Fitz needs to be reminded that 'E' does not stand for 'Excellent' and that 'D' does not stand for 'Divine'! Furthermore, given Fitz's many untruths about our education standards, why should anyone living in Marathon believe a single word he has to say about the impact on their health and safety of the under ground gasoline lake created by the Rubis/Texaco gas tank spillage?!!

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concernedcitizen 4 years ago

Moderator ,how come my comments go to a moderator and take days to post ,if at all

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Raptor22 3 years, 12 months ago

EDUCATION Minister Jerome Fitzgerald yesterday insisted he was “encouraged” by this year’s Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) exam results despite an E average in mathematics and an English average of D+. Hahaaaaaaaaaaaaa.....Fitzgerald, doing as Pindling did...keep them dumb, stupid, uneducated, so the masses don't know any better, and they vote PLP, no matter how much they suffer at the hands of this corrupt PLP, no matter that areas still they don't have running water, toilets, no matter the VAT tax burden on our daily lives, and Jerome, don't forget to play ROOTS on ZNS during election time, like Pindling.

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Raptor22 3 years, 12 months ago

He went to the best schools and colleges, and his Pa would have wailed his tail if he ever hit the grades he is encouraged about for other people's children. Fitzgerald is ensuring his children get the highest education, because Jerome would not tolerate his children bringing home these encouraging grades.

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