CXC celebrates 40 years
Monday, January 21 2013
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CXC ANNIVERSARY: Harrilal Seecharan, chief education officer Ministry of Education, Logal Registrar for the Caribbean Examination Council Laloo Hart a...
FORTY years ago on January 11 the first meeting of the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) was held in Barbados.
This examination changed how students in the region learned. Instead of learning from the colonial British syllabus, they had a Caribbean-based one.
“CXC is described as a body that has encouraged regional integration and as we remember the journey we see the regional input and co-operation is at its root,” said Harrilal Seecharan, CEO of the Ministry of Education.
Seecharan spoke on behalf of Education Minister Tim Gopeesingh yesterday at the St Charles RC Church, Tunapuna at an interfaith service held in commemoration of CXC’s 40th anniversary.
Members of the Hindu, Christian, Baha’i, Orisha and Islamic communities were represented as they all came together in prayer to thank their God for the pioneers who fought to have CXC formed and the success it brought to the students.
Local Registrar for CXC, Laloo Hart, gave a brief history of CXC. Quoting the first prime minister of Barbados, Errol Barrow, who was one of the speakers at the inaugural meeting, he said, “I consider the Caribbean Examinations Council to be an instrument of change. The time is therefore ripe to take this step to Caribbeanise our educational practice and methodology.”
Hart further stated originally, the exams were offered to 30,276 candidates from 13 participating territories. He informed the audience many were reluctant to accept the syllabus because they feared it would not receive international recognition. But now, 40 years later, approximately 6.5 million Caribbean students from 19 territories use CXC certification, which is accepted internationally.
Though he praised the success of CXC, he also stated the necessity for constant improvement.
“We must be guided by the acute awareness that what got us through this period will not get us through the next ten years. The world is an infinitely more competitive arena.”
He stated national competitiveness is no longer about who the country’s best learners are, but the standard of learning the entire country receives.
Now, the Caribbean region no longer competes with each other, but with other countries like Thailand, Japan and Brazil, to name a few.
“Yesterday, competitiveness was measured by the cream of the crop; tomorrow, it will be measured by the caliber of the cohort,” Hart said.
Other countries around the region also held services for CXC’s 40th anniversary. Jamaica held a service simultaneously with Trinidad, and Barbados had a thanksgiving service yesterday afternoon. Throughout the year, CXC will hold activities to celebrate this milestone.
These include the opening of the new CXC Headquarters in Barbados; two visual arts exhibitions in Dominica and Jamaica; a 40th anniversary lecture; the publication of two special issues of the Caribbean Examiner magazine; and ceremonies honouring 40 of CXC’s stalwarts.