CXC Official Challenges Teachers Amidst Celebration
(EMU) – St. Kitts, September 4, 2013 — While applauding and recognizing St. Kitts and Nevis for its outstanding and significant improvement in its performance in the CXC 2013 examinations, CXC Registrar Didacus Jules a challenged teachers to seek to bring the majority of students to higher levels of performance.
“Trends, not snap shots,” said the registrar, “are what we must use as our ultimate measuring stick as we determine the success that we are having in education.” Dr. Jules continued by saying, “while it has been recognized by officials in the region that St. Kitts and Nevis has become a quiet unassuming light in Education in the OECS and wider Caribbean, it must also be noted that our competitors are global and that collaboration as a Caribbean family will take us even higher.”
Dr. Jules therefore urged teachers This Statement was made at the opening ceremony of workshops for teachers just prior to the start of the academic year. Dr. Jules asked teachers to consider that love for students should be the foundational principle and driving force in seeking to be effective teachers. He added that this love would cause teachers to be concerned about the percentage of students who are not performing at an acceptable level even while supporting those who are.
He revealed that in 2013, some 66% of students writing CXC examinations in the Caribbean did not get a passing grade (1-3). While St Kitts and Nevis performed above the regional average, it had to set its goals even higher to focus on those students who underperformed. He called for honesty in facing the facts of the region’s shortfalls and encouraged a united front moving forward.
The regional official said that the recent thrust towards technology is admirable and necessary but would be useless without requiring foundational principles and basic values. “While we allow students to take calculators into examinations these days, we must still require them to do mental Arithmetic. What happens when the calculator malfunctions?” stated Dr Jules.
He highlighted the importance of core values such as respect for self, community and country and warned against raising a generation of technologically savvy and moralistically deficient youths.
Dr. Jules, who was once a Permanent Secretary referred to stalwarts in the advancement of Education in the Caribbean including past Permanent Secretary and Deputy Chairperson of CXC from 2002-2008, Mr. Osmond Petty whom he singled out as having the heart of a true educator.
The sobering and highly motivational address by Dr. Jules called for teachers to encourage students to become explorers and creators of new knowledge. He said, “Knowledge is no longer the ability to divulge facts but to create knowledge based on a cross-pollination of ideas.” He further indicated that it was time for the people of the Caribbean to stop seeing themselves only as users of other people’s knowledge and consumers of other peoples’ products. He also commended the nobel laureates of the Caribbean, stating that efforts were in motion to document their works.
In closing he advised that “Knowledge is changing daily. Education now is about attitude. It is a journey of discovering self, the world and life,” and encouraged teachers to put their best foot forward in the year ahead.