By Kathryn Campbell
The Ministry of Education (MOE) announced the results of the 2021 National Examinations at a press conference Monday, August 30, 2021. The Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd, Minister of Education headlined the list of ministry officials who participated in the virtual event, which was broadcast live on television. Lorraine Armbrister, Permanent Secretary; Dr. Marcellus Taylor, Director; Serethea Clarke, Under Secretary and Evelyn Sawyer, Assistant Director, also participated.
Dr. Taylor happily noted that although many students, for whatever reason, were discouraged from participating in national exams (BJC and BGCSE) the MOE provided the opportunities and many students have had success. “One of the standards that we look at to see how many students have succeeded was how many students of the BGCSE level received 5 BGCSEs with a minimum grade of D. Over the COVID period about 1500 such students met that standard. I am sure that for each and every one of those 1500 students they are eternally grateful for the fact that we forged ahead with these national exams.”
On behalf of the students, Dr. Taylor acknowledged the Examinations and Assessments Division (EAD), senior staff at MOE, teachers, school administrators and their parents. Minister Lloyd, in an overview of 2021 National Examinations, offered congratulations to the students for their achievements and commended the officers of the EAD. He extended thanks to parents, teachers, administrators, educators, family and friends of the students for their support. He said, “The fact that we were able to continue with our examinations is significant, as it underscores the fact that we have not compromised on the quality of our University of Cambridge certified examinations – the BGCSE’s.
“This is a critical accomplishment, as we are aware that in some developed countries, COVID-19 presented difficulties in administering national examinations. The fact that we navigated through the multiplicity of restrictions and limitations in our instructional process, while still preparing our students to write these papers, at over 100 centers throughout the islands, was an achievement. This fact was even more critical for those students, who for the second consecutive year, had to deal with the physical and emotional disruption of the COVID-19
2021 BJC Examinations
9,552 sat the examinations, at 110 centers, of which 49 were at government schools, while 61 centers were independently administered.
BJC exams covered 13 subjects, with 34,584 grades awarded, compared to 31,970 awarded in 2020. For an 8.2% increase.
Mathematics and English Language were the two most subscribed subjects: English Language with a total of 6,204 candidates, a 10.49% increase over last year’s total of 5, 615 students.
6,994 candidates sat the Maths exams this year, compared to 6,277 in 2020, for an 11.42%.
Increase in candidates sitting General Science, Religious Studies, Family and Consumer Science, Social Studies, Literature and French, during the 2021 period compared to the previous year.
Female candidates have outperformed male candidates, in both the BJC and BGCSE exams. Of the 9,552 BJC candidates, 1,164 of them received a grade of C or higher in 5 or more subjects. This represents 12.19% of the overall candidature; and a 7.48% increase when compared to last year, which had 1,083 candidates obtaining this distinction.
1630 candidates achieved a grade D or above in at least 5 subjects, representing 17.06% of the overall candidature and a 1.62% increase compared to last year’s 1,604 candidates, who performed at this level.
2021 BGCSE Examinations
27 subjects were offered, resulting in 17,874 grades being awarded this year. This represents an increase of 18.19% compared to 2020, which had a total of 15,123 grades.
5,159 candidates sat the BGCSE exams at 96 centers throughout the country.
40 centers were at government schools while 56 centers were independently administered.
English Language, Biology, Mathematics and Religious Studies continue to remain the subjects of choice for the vast majority of candidates. Art and Design Scheme C, Auto Mechanics and Clothing Construction remain the least subscribed subjects.
Of the 27 subjects tested, 24 subjects saw an increase in the number of candidates being awarded a grade. There was a significant increase in the number of candidates receiving grades between A – C. This year 1,804 or 10.09% of the 17,874 grades given were A’s.
Overall, 50.44% of the grades awarded were to candidates earning A – C grades.
A total of 550 candidates received at least grade C or above in 5 or more subjects. This represents 10.66% of the overall 5,159 candidature and a 50.68% increase compared to last year’s 365 candidates who received grade C or above in 5 or more subjects.
875 candidates obtained a grade of D or above in at least 5 subjects. This represents 16.96% of the overall candidature and a 46.32% increase when compared to last year’s 598 candidates who received a grade of D or above in at least 5 subjects.
Minister Lloyd urged students to remain committed to their preparations for examinations. “Despite the current temporal challenges brought on by this pandemic, please remember that the ability remains within you to thrive and achieve great success,” he said.