Qualifications framework aims for clarity

Employers, parents and students now
have a new tool to help them understand student qualifications.

Cayman’s new National
Qualifications Framework was presented to teachers and education staff by Chief
Education Officer Shirley Wahler at an orientation event last week at Mary
Miller Hall.

The Qualifications Framework is a
set of standards by which qualifications are assessed. It sets out a six-tier
scale explaining what certain qualifications mean and how they relate to the

The qualification levels range from
entry level to Level 6 (holder of a postgraduate degree). Someone at Level 2,
for instance, would hold CXC CSEC exam passes at I to III, or GCSE passes at A*
to C, a GED, or a BTEC First Diploma or Certificate. The qualifications would
prepare a skilled independent worker who is capable of post-secondary study. In
the workforce, a Level 2 qualified person denote a skilled worker able to work
with limited or no supervision.

Ms Wahler said the current
qualifications available to students make up a complicated alphabet soup that
is confusing even for those who should know what they mean.

She noted that as the department
expands the parameters for student achievement, the significance of different
exam passes, qualifications and certifications can be confusing not only for
employers and parents, but students as well.

“As educators we must make sense of
these for the wider community,” she said.

“As part of a better integrated,
better designed educations system it helps educators and parents a roadmap,
which offers the idea of levelness.”

She said it was important to show
where students stand relative to others once they progress past the end of high

“We have done things for the best
reason, but they have made things complicated,” she said.

“If kids are to take ownership of
learning, students and employers must know what the qualifications mean.”