Executive Director of the Overseas Examinations Commission (OEC), Hector Stephenson, is encouraging students to avail themselves of the various pathways for qualifications that are available through the entity.

Speaking with JIS News, he said that as the educational landscape continues to expand and transform, students can give themselves the best competitive advantage by seeking out all the available qualifications that will allow them to compete globally.

“Students should consider multiple certification pathways rather than the traditional pathway. Locally, this is something that the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information has been encouraging over the years,” he said.

Students can access a range of secondary-level examinations through the OEC, such as Cambridge Assessment, National Council on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (NCTVET), and City and Guilds, in addition to the traditional Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) tests – Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE), Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC), and Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ).

Meanwhile, Mr. Stephenson is commending the students who sat the 2020 CXC exams despite the ongoing effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We, at the OEC, understand the great deal of difficulty most persons faced, as their lives were individually impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the stress it brought for many candidates who had to sit the exams,” he said.

Mr. Stephenson said that the OEC was especially heartened by the increases in the pass rate for English A and Mathematics among private candidates who sat the July/August tests.

He pointed out that overall, the performances were commendable, particularly due to the extraordinary circumstances that had been thrust upon the candidates.

The OEC’s primary role is to administer all secondary-level examinations on behalf of Jamaica’s Government, and is mandated to ensure that students at the secondary level are adequately certified with the necessary regional and international qualifications.