The Ministry of Education is pleased to officially release the 2008 BJC and BGCSE examination results.

We are extremely grateful to the hard working teachers and administrators throughout the Commonwealth of The Bahamas who have worked tirelessly, and in some instances, under less than adequate conditions to provide quality education to our many students. Many administrators in the public schools took up the challenge at the beginning of the 2007/2008 academic year and included as one of their objectives for the academic year, the initiation of programmes which would result in improving the performance of students on national examinations. For some schools their efforts have reaped substantial benefits.

We extend congratulations to all students who sat the 2008 national examinations and obtained commendable results. I would wish to encourage our students to continue to work hard and achieve their dreams through education.

We also wish to publicly thank parents for the roles they have played in helping our students to achieve their various successes.

When I was first appointed Minister of Education by the on the recommendation of the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister at my first Press Conference I informed the news media and the Bahamian People that there was no “magic bullet” to solve the problems of education and low levels of student achievement. I promised however that incremental and measurable progress would be made in improving the levels of student achievement and the crude National Average in National examinations, particularly the BGCSE and the BJC.

Today we are pleased to announce that our efforts, over the past year since taking office as Minister of Education, to improve student achievement in National examination results have begun to be realized. I am pleased to announce that in the 2008 BJC the National Average has risen from “D+” to “C-“.

The National Average for the BGCSE results has risen from the level of “D” to the level of “D+”.

In expressing pleasure at the improvements in student achievement this year over the last year, particularly in the BJC, but also in the BGCSE, it must be acknowledged that we are not yet at the level that we need and earnestly desire to attain. Student achievement is not yet where it needs to be. Our students and Teachers can and will do better.

Our task over the next year is to consolidate the “C” Average in the BJC, and the D+ average in the BGCSE, which has been attained in the past on at least 2 occasions, but never sustained. We must consolidate and sustain this level of student achievement and use it as a base to build on for the attainment of even higher levels of achievement in the coming years.

We will do this by enhancing our, already announced, focus upon instruction in core subject areas, English language, Mathematics, Social and Religious Studies, expansion and improvement of after school study clubs and homework centres and the expansion and enhancement of the Magnet School Programmes to every High School in New Providence and 2 High Schools in Grand Bahama.

In the coming months an aggressive strategy will be devised to specifically address Student achievement in Mathematics. New initiatives to improve instruction in mathematics at every grade level will be announced.

Let me state that the efforts of the Department of Education to specifically address Literacy over the past Decade, since the inception of the “Let’s Read Bahamas” programme in the late 1990s, and focused attention to improved teaching instruction in Language Arts, are beginning to pay off as we are seeing marked improvements in student achievement in Language.

This same targeted and focused approach will be utilized in addressing student achievement in Mathematics, where the crude National Average has remained static for the past decade at the level of “E”. The persistence of such a low level of achievement in Mathematics is unacceptable.


Approximately 7577 candidates from 118 centres registered for the 2008 exams. This is a slight reduction from the 7600 candidates registered for the 2007 examination.

73 centres were from the Family Islands while 45 were from New Providence.

54 centres were private or Independent Schools while 64 were Public schools.

Ten subjects were offered.

The following table lists the number of candidates offering to sit each subject in the 2008 examination.

Art    995    13.13
Craft    793    10.46
Language Arts    6260    82.61
General Science    4307    83.54
Health Science    3778    56.84
Home Economics    964    49.89
Mathematics    6330    12.72
Religious Studies    4820    63.61
Social Studies    4812    63.50
Technical Studies    553    7.29

Of the ten subjects offered, English Language and Mathematics were the two most subscribed.

Three subjects showed improvement over the 2007 results. They are Mathematics, Social Studies and Family and Consumer Science.

No subject showed a decline in performance.

It is pleasing to note that for the first time in five years the average for Mathematics has increased from D- to D. Mathematics is one of the subjects which most students seem to have immense difficulty with. It is likewise gratifying to note the improvement in Social Studies from D to C- and in Family and Consumer Science from C- to C.

When considering the number of candidates who achieved at least 5 or more subjects at grade C or higher, the following schools showed improvement over 2007:

Abaco Central St. Francis de Sales Smith’s Memorial
S. C. Bootle Forest Heights
Agape Christian Moore’s Island All-Age

Andros: South Andros High

Bimini: Gateway Christian

Cat Island: Arthur’s Town High

Acklins: Acklins High

Eleuthera: Central Eleuthera High, Deep Creek Middle

Long Island: N. G. M. Major, North Long Island High

Exuma: L. N. Coakley

San Salvador: San Salvador High

Inagua: Inagua All-Age

New Providence:

Public Schools: D. W. Davis, H. O. Nash, L. W. Young,
S. C. McPherson

Private/Independent Schools: Aquinas College, Bahamas Academy, Nassau Christian, Queen’s College, St. Anne’s, St. John’s, Temple Christian, Faith Temple, Heritage Christian, Galilee Academy, Westminster College, Christian Heritage, City School, Faith Temple, Zion Christian Academy

The Crude Mean for the BJC Exams for the 5 year period 2004 – 2008 is as follows:

2004 D
2005 D
2006 D+
2007 D+
2008 C-

The mean mark has for the first time moved beyond D+. This is most noteworthy.

When comparing the number of grades issued in 2007 and 2008, the following observations can be made:

63% of the grades awarded were between A – D in 2007.
65% of the grades awarded were between A – D in 2008.


Six thousand two hundred and ninety-four (6,294) candidates from ninety–two centres (92) were registered to sit the examinations.

Forty-two (42) were Public Schools while fifty (50) were Independent or Private Schools.

The average candidate entry this year is again five. The total number of subjects offered is twenty-six (26).

English Language, Biology and Mathematics continue to remain the subjects of choice for the vast majority of students. Auto Mechanics, Clothing Construction and Electrical Installation remain the least subscribed subjects.

The following table lists the number of candidates offering to sit each subject in the 2008 examination:

Literature 1312 20.84
English Language 5150 81.82
Bookkeeping 655 10.40
Economics 428 6.80
Office Procedures 449 7.13
Keyboarding/Typewriting 543 8.62
Commerce 536 8.51
Biology 3246 51.57
Chemistry 631 10.02
Combined Science 500 7.94
Physics 601 9.54
Mathematics 5027 79.86
Carpentry 235 3.73
Graphical Comm. 324 5.14
Electrical Inst. 144 2.28
Auto Mechanics 66 1.04
Clothing Con. 172 2.73
Food & Nutrition 582 9.24
History 1218 19.35
Geography 994 15.79
Religious Studies 2037 32.36
***Art and Design 808 12.83
Music 233 3.70
Spanish 1092 17.34
French 298 4.73
*** Please note that this subject has three separate options, Art & Design Scheme A (Painting & Drawing), Art & Design Scheme B (Craft) and Art and Design Scheme C (Combination of Schemes A and B)

It is also to be noted that even with the more heavily subscribed subjects like Mathematics, English Language and Biology, none had a one hundred percent subscription rate. This is partially due in part to some schools entering tenth and eleventh grade students to sit the subjects a year or two in advance of graduation.

BGCSE 2004 – 2008

Subject Number of Cands. 2008 Mean

                                                            2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

Art and Design A 332 C- C- C- C- C*
Art and Design B 306 C C C C C+*
Art and Design C 41 C C C C
Auto Mechanics 48 D E+ D+ C- C*
Biology 2972 E+ E+ E+ D- D*
Bookkeeping 618 F+ E E F E*
Carpentry/Joinery 176 C C+ C C+ C
Chemistry 577 D+ C- D+ C- C-
Clothing Construction 148 C- C D+ D D
Combined Science 467 D+ D D C- D
Commerce 450 D D D D D
Economics 363 E D D D E
Electrical Installation 129 C D D- C- D+
English Language 4724 D- D D- D- D*
Foods and Nutrition 480 C C C C C
French 259 D D+ D+ C- C*
Geography 862 C- D+ C- C C
Graphical Communication 275 D+ D C- D+ D+
History 1031 C- C- C C C
Literature 1204 D D+ D+ D+ C-*
Mathematics 4635 E E E E E
Music 202 C C+ C+ C+ C+
Office Procedures 382 D+ D+ D E D*
Physics 561 D+ D+ C- C- C-
Religious Studies 1787 C C C C C
Spanish 987 D+ C C- C- C-
Keyboarding 520 D C- C- D- C-*

* Denotes an improvement over 2007

Ten subjects recorded improvement in performance compared to 2007. These include: Art & Design, Auto Mechanics, Biology, Book-keeping & Accounts, English Language, French, Literature, Office Procedures and Geography.

Conversely, three subjects recorded decline in performance compared to 2007.
These include: Carpentry & Joinery, Combined Science and Economics.

The mean grade for fourteen subjects remained the same as 2007.

Eight hundred and twenty-six (826) candidates received at least grade C in five or more subjects in 2008. This is an improvement over 2007. A total of seven hundred and eighty-eight (788) candidates received at least grade C in five or more subjects in 2007.

Four hundred and ninety-nine (499) candidates have received at least a grade C or better in Mathematics, English Language and a Science in 2008 while four hundred and sixty-four candidates were recorded for 2007.

When compared with 2007, even though the candidate entry has decreased, more grades were awarded overall especially, in the A – D range with a substantial increase at grade C.
66.4% of the grades awarded in 2008 were between A – D, whereas 64.3% of the grades in 2007 were between A – D.

BGCSE Crude Mean Grade

2004 D
2005 D+
2006 D+
2007 D
2008 D+

The following schools have improved their performance this year, i.e. their mean grade has improved:
Abaco: S. C. Bootle High
Moore’s Island All-Age
Wesley College
Forest Heights
St. Francis de Sales

Andros: Central Andros High
Mangrove Cay High

Acklins: Acklins Central High

Crooked Island: Colonel Hill High

Bimini: Bimini All-Age

Eleuthera: Harbour Island All-Age
North Eleuthera High
Windermere High

Exuma: L. N. Coakley

Grand Bahama: St George’s High
Grand Cay All-Age

Inagua: Matthew Town All-Age

New Providence: C. R. Walker High
C. V. Bethel High
C. C. Sweeting High
Government High
St. Andrew’s
Mt. Carmel Preparatory
South Haven Christian

We in the Ministry of Education will continue to provide the best quality education for our students.

We will make a concerted effort to address the need to provide professional development programmes for all teachers but especially those of Mathematics, Language Arts and the Sciences.

We will re- structure our programmes by intensifying instruction in core subjects.

It is hoped that if continued improvements can made in Language Arts and Mathematics then invariably all other subjects will be affected.