… “No reason for celebration” – Education MinisterDespite Guyana recording a minimal increase at the 2017 Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) examinations, the Education Minister has indicated that she is not satisfied with the country’s performance, especially given alarming results attained in critical subject areas such as Mathematic and English.The Ministry on Tuesday released its annual report on the country’s performance at the CSEC examinations, during which it was revealed that Guyana this year recorded a 0.29 per cent increase in the overall performance.Education Minister Nicolette Henry during the release of the 2017 CSEC resultsThis was as Education Minister Nicolette Henry took to the podium at NCERD on Tuesday to present an overview of the country’s accomplishments at CSEC 2017.Henry conveyed to the gathering, “Overall we saw and increase of one per cent and there were 35 subjects that we took this year.”She went on to say, “Guyana achieved 63.68 per cent pass rate with Grades One to Three and that is against 63.39 per cent in 2016. Of these, 12.49 per cent of the entries gained Grade Ones, 22.72 per cent gained Grade Twos and 28.47 per cent gained Grade Threes.”While outlining the performance of the students, Henry indicated that of the 35 subjects pursued this year, there was a 100 per cent pass rated achieved for two subjects while for 10 other subjects areas, 90 per cent of the students managed to secure outstanding performances.An additional 14 subjects have seen improvement in the overall pass rate as well.However, despite of those positive accomplishments, the Education Minister lamented over the fact that four subject areas projected no improvements, while a whopping 11 subjects recorded a decline in performance.Mathematics, English Language (English A) and Literate (English B) were all among the subjects recording worrisome pass rates.Whereas the already troubling pass rate for English A at the 2016 sitting was recorded at 59.3 per cent, this year saw a further decline with only 57.99 per cent of the students gaining Grade Threes and above at this essential subject.With that, Minister Henry posited that despite the improvements in some areas, the results this year do not merit a national celebration.On that note she relayed, “When you recognise that you’re you know going downward in terms of performances in several subject areas. I looked at 11 subject areas I will think it will not be consistent with normal behaviour for us to be celebrating that today.”As a result of the unsatisfactory performances, the Education Minister indicated that strategies will be put in place ensure improvement at CSEC in the coming years.“It seems to me there is a lot of work to be done, this is not the worst performance we have seen but Guyana certainly needs to be moving in a different direction when it comes to education,” Henry expressed.Moreover, emphasising the need for actions to be taken to better cater for the nation’s youth, Henry reassured those in attendance that, “It seems to be a long road ahead of us. The good thing though is the battle that we believe is quite a winnable battle and we will do all that we can possibly do with resources available to us and the Ministry of Education to ensure that we are on the right path where we can eventually get to the place where all you can see is joy and celebration,” but stressed, “we are not there as yet.”Nevertheless, of 12,684 candidates registered for CSEC this year, a sum of 164 students secured Grade One passes at eight subjects and more at the 2017 examinations. The results also reflect outstanding performances emanating from regions Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Ten and Georgetown.Of this total, 93 of the top performers hailed from schools across Georgetown, with Queen’s College walking away with the majority, producing 41 of the high flyers.