90 XLCR GRADE 9 STUDENTS PASS CSEC MATHS
By Duane Coombs
Wednesday, September 27, 2023
Is Excelsior High School the cradle of high school Maths education in Jamaica?
A persuasive case is being made as a cohort of Grade 9 students -Third Formers- again punched above their weight in registering an almost 90 % pass rate in the recent regional 2023 CSEC Mathematics Examinations.
Of 106 students who were sent up as early candidates by Excelsior to take the school-leaving Examination, 90 were successful, with more than half of those garnering passes with either distinction or credit. The CSEC, the rough equivalent of the old GCE O’Level Examination is usually done by 11th Graders (5th Formers)
How impressive was the performance of these Grade 9 (Third Form) students in the regional Exams?
Their almost 90% pass rate was considerably above the national average of 49%. Excelsior’s overall pass rate, (including all candidates) was 53%. Even more impressive, it easily outstripped the regional average of 43%.
As outstanding as it still is, this year’s performance is actually a slight retreat from Excelsior’s consistently lofty standards since the first cohort of Grade 9 students sat the Examinations 5 years ago. Pre-COVID, it was not unusual for Excelsior to register close to a 100% pass rate among the Grade 9 cohort.
This year’s sterling performance comes against the background of Jamaica’s CSEC mathematics passes trending downward over the last five years. According to published reports, the national pass rate fell to an alarming 37 per cent last year. With its relatively commendable performance, Excelsior High School continues to lead the way in trying to arrest this downward spiral.
Excelsior’s stakeholders are hoping that the school’s success in Maths and other disciplines will help in its quest to reclaim its perch in the high school education landscape.
Photo: Mrs. Sylvia Green and some of the former Grade 9 students