Stop complaining about students writing “too many subjects” – Education Minister

Education Minister Priya Manickchand has reasoned that there is no need for onlookers to complain about the local student population writing “too many subjects” at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certification (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) levels.

Education Minister Priya Manickchand

Over the years, there have been several concerns about students in Guyana writing large numbers of subjects offered by the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC).
This year, the most subjects written by a CSEC candidate was 27 while the best performing CAPE student wrote 15. While there was an outpouring of congratulations for these hardworking students, some have registered their concerns about the number of subjects being written.
Manickchand on Monday argued that this should not be an issue.
“213 students in the whole population, are who did eight or more grade ones, and just 28 with 12 or more subjects, so it is not that many of our children writing a large number of subjects,” the Education Minister explained.
Nevertheless, the Minister explained that students do not have to write so many subjects if they do not want to, adding that five subjects inclusive of Math and English are enough.
“Any student who does five subjects inclusive of Maths and English, we consider that they have [done] very well, excellent in fact,” she expressed.
In 2015, former APNU/AFC Education Minister, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine said the pressure of doing a vast number of subjects does not create a very healthy learning environment.
As such, he was in favour of discouraging secondary school students from writing more than eight subjects.
However, in response to this, Minister Manickchand had expressed her view that writing a wide variety of subjects could, in fact, help to ensure that students are thoroughly prepared for the leadership capacity they are expected to embrace later in life.
She had pointed out then, that while there are students who are more comfortable doing fewer subjects, it may not be a challenge to those students who choose to write more. She also asserted that a student choosing to access the subsidy facility must prove that they are competent to write the number of subjects they have opted for.
Based on the results that the Ministry has been seeing in recent years, Manickchand had amplified her conviction that “students who have been writing the many subjects have been doing fantastically well.” (G9)