C A R I B B E A N
E X A M I N A T I O N S
C O U N C I L
REPORT ON CANDIDATES’ WORK IN THE CARIBBEAN SECONDARY EDUCATION CERTIFICATE® EXAMINATION
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION GENERAL PROFICIENCY EXAMINATION
Copyright © 2013 Caribbean Examinations Council St Michael, Barbados All rights reserved.
-2GENERAL COMMENTS It is well worth remembering that the study of religion as an academic endeavour is intended to enable candidates to “develop an understanding of the meaning and purpose of life as advanced by different religious practices.” The academic enquiry into the phenomenon of religion must be differentiated from religious instruction, where the latter is intended ...view middle of the document...
Paper 03 is the School-Based Assessment (SBA). The SBA for Religious Education consists of a research paper based on a topic from one of the selected world religions or any other religion selected from the list indicated on pages 78–80 of the syllabus. This year was the second year of the examination under the expanded syllabus. It was expected that candidates were prepared for one of the religions to be examined for Paper 02. Every effort was made to ensure that similar issues were dealt with for all religions and the weight of questions for each religion was similar. It was unfortunate, however, that some candidates did not seek to answer questions from only one religion and sought to attempt questions from all religions. It should be made clear that the depth of coverage required for Paper 01 of the examinations is not sufficient for answering questions in Paper 02. Consequently, candidates should be urged to answer only questions set on the religion for which they were prepared for the examination. Approximately 74 per cent of the candidates achieved Grades I–III in 2013. This represents a 10 per cent decline in performance. The number of candidates achieving Grades I, II and III was approximately 7 per cent, 34 per cent, and 35 per cent respectively. Only at the Grade II level was there an improvement in performance compared with that of 2012. Candidates’ performance showed weakness in Profile 2 (Interpretation and Analysis) and Profile 3 (Application). In too many instances, candidates were not able to analyse issues and sought simply to restate the questions to the examiners. In some cases, candidates preferred to offer sermons to the examiners and while these may have been good for faith development they did not display candidates’ ability to interpret and analyse information nor did they show the candidates’ ability to apply their knowledge to new situations. As in previous years, candidates showed a strong ability to recall information and so were strong in Profile 1 (Knowledge). However, this year, performance in Profile 1 (Knowledge) showed a slight decline from that of previous years. In general, the performance on Paper 01 and Paper 03 showed an increase in the percentage of candidates achieving Grades I–III. It would seem that candidates and teachers continue to grapple with the serious academic discipline that is required for the study of Religious Education. It is once again being stressed that Religious Education is an academic discipline not an exercise in faith building. Weaker candidates particularly in the Christianity Option might not have understood this point and tended to approach the answering of questions from the vantage point of preaching or pontificating. While preaching may be necessary for the Church, it is not a requirement for taking the Religious Education examination.
-3Given the performance of candidates this year, teachers are encouraged to bring the topical issues reported by the news media into the...