Ministry releases data on student performance for 2020-2021 | Loop Cayman Islands

The content originally appeared on: Cayman Compass

The Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Department of Education Services (DES) have released the Education Data Report for the 2020-2021 academic year. The data indicate that overall student achievement at the end of Years 11 and 12 has exceeded outcomes predicted through the Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT4) administered to students in Year 9.

Graph showing actual achievement compared to CAT4 prediction

Reacting to the data, Minister of Education, Juliana O’Connor-Connolly said that “despite the numerous challenges that have occurred over the past few years, students’ performance has continued to improve with the support of their parents and our hardworking team of educators.”

I commend students for demonstrating such resilience and tenacity that allowed them to surpass their expected academic outcomes.

O’Connor-Connolly added.

The report further revealed that 95.3 per cent of Year 12 students who achieved the national standard of five or more level two qualifications, including English and mathematics, graduated with honours.

Also among the report’s highlights was a notable increase in the percentage of students who obtained a passing grade in at least one science subject by the end of Year 12. The 79 per cent pass rate represents the highest national average for any cohort.

Percentage of students passing one science subject

Commenting on the positive growth in science attainment, MoE Chief Officer Ms. Cetonya Cacho said:

It is evident that more of our students have been taking advantage of the opportunities provided at the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre (CIFEC) to improve their performance in subjects such as science. This positive trend further demonstrates our students’ increased ability to think critically and effectively solve problems by the end of their compulsory education.

Improvements were likewise evidenced among the Year 11 cohort as there was a slight increase in the number of students attaining the national expected standard compared to 2019.

In addition, 63.4 per cent of Year 11 students obtained passes in science, and 43.2 per cent obtained passes in mathematics. These percentages represented increases of 6.1 and 2.6 percentage points over 2019 passes in these respective subject areas.

DES Director Mr. Mark Ray explained the decision to compare 2021 examination results to those obtained in 2019.

In 2020, external examination bodies, including the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) and the UK Boards (Cambridge, AQA, WJEC), adjusted their usual examination processes in several ways to mitigate the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic on the teaching and learning process. Chief among these for CXC was a review of School-Based Assessments (SBA) and reducing the number of written papers offered to candidates. The UK Boards opted to use a Teacher Assessed Judgement (TAJ).

In 2021, CXC reintroduced the full suite of examinations in line with previous years, and for this reason, we believe that the 2021 results are more comparable to those obtained in 2019.

Ray said.

The Education Data Report further showed that 65 per cent of Year 6 students were either at or exceeded the expected level in reading. Sixty-four per cent demonstrated proficiency in grammar, punctuation, spelling (GAPS), and 63 per cent were either at or exceeded the expected level in mathematics. Forty-eight per cent of students were either at or exceeded the expected level in writing.

The report also revealed that students’ performance in grammar, punctuation, spelling (GAPS), reading and mathematics were consistent with predicted performance outcomes.

To view the Education Data Report for the 2020-2021 academic year, click on the following link: https://www.gov.ky/publication-detail/data-report-for-the-academic-year-2020-21.

For more information or to view previous Education Data Reports, visit the MoE website at www.gov.ky/education.