Vol. 21 (2013)

Choice and Performance in CSEC and CAPE TVET Subjects: A Comparison With More Conventional Subjects

Stafford A. Griffith
The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus


  • Technical and Vocational Education and Training,
  • Subjects of Study,
  • Secondary School Students,
  • Academic Achievement,
  • Comparative Analysis,
  • Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate,
  • Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination,
  • CXC CSEC Examinations,
  • CXC CA
  • ...More

How to Cite

Choice and Performance in CSEC and CAPE TVET Subjects: A Comparison With More Conventional Subjects. (2015). Caribbean Curriculum, 21, 97-119. https://journals.sta.uwi.edu/ojs/index.php/cc/article/view/547


The study was undertaken to ascertain the extent to which students in their last years of schooling in the Caribbean were opting to pursue technical vocational education and training (TVET) courses of study and examinations, compared with more traditional academic offerings, and whether it was the poor-performing students who were taking TVET courses of study and examinations. The research utilized examinations data from the total population of students in the 16 member countries of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) over a five-year period. The study found that a rather small number of students were opting to pursue TVET courses of study, compared with the number opting to persue more traditional subjects, such as athe natural sciences. The study posited that the small number entering for TVET subjects might well be a consequence of the lack of a large enough range of TVET offerings in schools, the continuing low status accorded to TVET subjects in the employment sector, and the perception that much of the emphasis of the CXC programmes is on providing the theoretical foundations for further education and training rather than on providing employable skills. The findings of the study did not support the view that it is the poor-performing students who are pursuing TVET courses of study and examinations.