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Lloyd: Public Doesn't Understand Exam Results

EDUCATION Minister Jeff Lloyd.

EDUCATION Minister Jeff Lloyd.

By RIEL MAJOR

Tribune Staff Reporter

rmajor@tribunemedia.net

EDUCATION Minister Jeff Lloyd has said the public “doesn’t seem to understand” how examination results are graded - in response to criticism over this year’s poor national results.

Speaking to reporters outside Cabinet yesterday, Mr Lloyd insisted the nation’s students are competent and doing very well - despite a drop in the number of students sitting BGCSEs and in the number of students securing at least a C grade. Mr Lloyd said as far as the future is concerned, the game plan is the same the government has always had and that it “wasn’t fair” that students were being criticised.

He said: “It’s not fair that our students are continuously being whipped by a public who doesn’t seem to understand that we have a new legend, a new assessment tool called the BGCSE and they should examine it and criticise it on its own merit and not on the GCE merit because if you look at a D on the GCE, yes it’s a failure, a D under the BGCSE is a passing grade, a grade of competence.”

This is the 28th year that the BGCSE has been sat in The Bahamas.

Mr Lloyd added: “We redouble our efforts in applying our students, encouraging our parents and certainly making the best of our resources, which we are undertaking right now in terms of curriculum reform. But I need to make this very clear and I think it is unfair to our students who perform extremely well, the majority of them. We have a society which has transported a GCE understanding of these external and exit exams into now the BGSCE era and it’s unfair because in the GCE era there were only 15 to 20 percent of our students who were being assessed by way of exit exams. We had five grade points - ABCDF. Today, the mid-point is a D.”

“That midpoint, if you look at the legend, clearly identifies that the student who achieves A-D grade is competent (and) that the student is responsive, that the student has demonstrated adequate sufficient skills. But yet we continue to transcribe our D from the GCE years, which was a failure, into the BGCSE era and it’s not fair. Now students who get E, F and G on this scale, they are failing, and we have those as well, but in that category we have less than any other previous year, number one. Number two, again what I sent you all you would see from A to D, the percentage of students taking the exam have actually increased in both the BJCs and BGCSEs.

“Our graduation rates have gone from 46 percent in 2017 to 60 percent in 2019. That’s excellent. We have 100 percent more students at BTVI than we had two years ago. We have 65 percent of our students at BTVI are now certified in their various disciplines compared to only 20 percent a year ago. We are doing very well.”

He added: “He said the virtual school was also now helping students in the family islands whether it’s Acklins and Crooked Island and Rum Cay who would not have had the benefit of science of math or foreign language teachers who now have that. ‘Are we great?’ We are getting better. ‘Are we perfect?’ We are being perfected.”

Earlier this week, PLP Senator Dr Michael Darville said Education Minister Jeffrey Lloyd has a “duty to address this decline” after this year’s poor examination results.

Dr Darville, PLP shadow minister of health and education, said Mr Lloyd’s poor leadership as well as his attempts at intimidating and threatening educators have created a toxic mix in the public school system that have adversely impacted scholastic performance and education outcomes.

“Fewer students have reportedly sat the core BGCSE subjects of maths, English and science and there was a decrease in the number of students who secured at least a grade of C in these core subjects.”

Last week, the newly released results of this year’s BJC and BGCSE were released which showed fewer students scored at least a C grade in score subjects Mathematics, English and Science. A total of 484 candidates fell into this category. This represented a decrease of 1.22 percent when compared with 2018. That year, 490 students scored at least a C.

The scores have got progressively worse and were released much later than is customary. Additionally, the number of candidates receiving a minimum or five subjects or more with a D grade or higher decreased.

This year 1,213 candidates attained a minimum of D in at least five subjects, representing a 9.34 percent decrease from the results of 2018.

The Bahamas Junior Certificate scores were not better with an 18.36 percent decrease in the number of students who scored at least a C grade in math, English language and science.

In 2018, 1,552 candidates scored at least a C and 1,326 were in 2017.

Those who achieved a D grade in five or more subjects were also lower.

This year, 2,176 candidates achieved a minimum of D, a 6.17 percent decrease when compared with 2018’s 2,319.

Editorial View - Page 4

Comments

ohdrap4 1 week, 5 days ago

Neither does UB understand because competent students for them need C. Otherwise they need remedial classes.

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TalRussell 1 week, 5 days ago

You see, Comrade Jeff - have you not given any thought to what Jesus, will thinks about a substantive minister of Queen's crown - abandoning a whole segment of the just doesn't understand their government - mostly Christian popoulaces, yes, no ....

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The_Oracle 1 week, 5 days ago

Wow. Just Wow. I wonder though, if the people grading these exams are themselves products of the "D" average system he seems to think acceptable. FAILURE.

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tell_it_like_it_is 1 week, 5 days ago

No but it's so funny because when he wasn't the Minister... "oh the exam results are horrible, I can bring reform and change!"
But now that he's Minster of Education... "the public doesn't understand the results, students are actually doing fine."
When will you people admit that neither governments have brought any significant improvement in education.

Come out of your ivory towers at headquarters, get into the schools and find out what's really going on and how you can provide real support and change!! smh

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ThisIsOurs 1 week, 5 days ago

We can get a grasp on the results very easily.

Just ask the employers how the graduating students are doing. Simple

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sheeprunner12 1 week, 5 days ago

Let us be honest .......... Most Bahamians over 50 either did not sit a single GCE O'Level or if they did, probably got low GCE pass grades. But they are so "smart" that they are quick to condemn the children today. Thank God ....... there is no more Common Entrance exam.

Those "good ole days" surely did not produce a lot of high GCE grades when only 10% of public school students took the GCE exams. Now, 85% of public school students sit BGCSE exams and are graded A to G.

There is no more selection of "smart" students to sit the BJC or BGCSE exams ....... all students are encouraged to sit the exams in public schools in order to meet graduation standards. It is unfair to compare the few high performing private schools with all others. This elitist mentality must stop. But our people always love to live a double standard.

But that is where we are today ........ and we care not to reflect on what we did in the past.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week, 5 days ago

It's excuse making idiots who are responsible for many in our country being content with the worst rather than striving for the best. The quality of education received by all students in our public and private schools prior to the 1990s was far superior in every respect compared to what it is today. And that's a simple enough fact that most Bahamians over the age of 50 would not argue with. As for Jeff Lloyd, he is without a doubt the absolute worst minister of education the Bahamas has ever had.

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sheeprunner12 1 week, 5 days ago

Most Bahamian public school parents are probably ashamed to tell their high school children their own school exam grades .......... but they are quick to condemn the schools today.

Many "successful" Bahamians sitting in high social positions will equally be embarrassed to share their high school GCE grades ............ We should be careful how we compare eras

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TalRussell 1 week, 5 days ago

To check boxes required basic constitutionality obligations, the minimum education level any colony's born comrades be hired like for mid-level jobs, should be function whilst doing basic adding and subtractions arithmetic, have a fair command Queen's English, a good handle on pronunciations, and a grasp basic grammar, yes, no ....

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Porcupine 1 week, 5 days ago

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. How's The Bahamas doing? I am not criticizing the students, I am criticizing the whole system and the adults that this system has produced. We don't need to talk. Just look around. Have we not failed? Yes, no?

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The_Oracle 1 week, 5 days ago

No one is criticizing the students. They are victims of a failed educational system that seems beyond repair. How many years of graduating kids must we fail? There is also no doubt that parents are failing their children, and no state can replace good firm parenting. Until the root causes of societal dysfunction including education are recognized no patch job or ministerial personality can fix much of anything.

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joeblow 1 week, 5 days ago

So the Minister of Education gives the public a 'D' for comprehension--- that's rich!

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Chucky 1 week, 4 days ago

All one must do is talk to a fellow bahamian (including our politicians) and you can come to a clear judgment of our education system.

Myself and other "top students" who were lucky enough to attend latter years of high school and college / university abroad know all too well that what we had to do was play catch up all the way through.

Arriving in another country having been a top student, and to find myself what seemed like miles behind the other students showed me what a farce our system is.

Fellow students at my boarding highschool spoke better and had more knowledge than my Bahamian teachers.

Speaking to my fellow Bahamians, Listening to their thoughts and opinions , sparks an outrage from within, a whole populous defrauded with garbage education.

Notice, the leaders don't care, and will do as little as possible. If they cared , and wanted a truly educated populous, they would throw every dollar and possible trick into the educations system to make things right. But they don't !

Its just like "health care", just enough so that you can continue to be a little worker slave, and nothing more.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week, 1 day ago

Very well said and absolutely spot on in every respect.

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