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News > World

Caribbean Islands Aim to Revamp History Syllabus

  • A teacher teaches Creole sign language to pupils at the Mission de L'Espoir school in Leveque, Haiti.

    A teacher teaches Creole sign language to pupils at the Mission de L'Espoir school in Leveque, Haiti. | Photo: Reuters

Published 9 January 2018

Recommendations to improve the syllabus include making Caribbean history compulsory and pushing governments to take history more seriously.

The Caribbean Examination Council, CXC, has established a regional committee in order to recommend ways to revitalize the Carribean History school syllabus to garner more attention from students. It's an effort to address the concern of decreasing numbers of students sitting the annual exam.

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Myrick Smith, the CXC registrar for Antigua and Barbuda, said that Alan Cobley, vice chancellor at the University of the West Indies (UWI), received the directive ordering the establishment of the committee in Dec. 2017. It came during a council meeting of the organization in St. Kitts.

Speaking about the event, Smith noted that the delegates offered their recommendations to revamp the syllabus.

The recommendations include: making Caribbean History compulsory; pushing governments and education ministries into taking history more seriously; and placing more emphasis on training for history teachers, according to St. Lucia News Online.

For his part, Smith suggested that Caribbean history be incorporated, in some form or fashion, into all secondary school subjects.

It's now up to Cobley to implement appropriate changes.

CXC representatives characterized the drop in the number of students taking the exam as a major concern back in 2016.

Established in 1972 by the Caribbean Community, or Caricom, governments, the CXC has developed its educational syllabus around a 10-point platform. These points include the need to help students develop and understanding of the experiences of Caribbean island peoples and develop an appreciation of their creative contributions, collectively and individually. 

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