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Religious Ed

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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 to enable faith or proselytise individuals. Consequently, it must be made clear that persons engaging in the study of Religious Education should do so not merely for the promotion of their personal faith experience but should be willing to expand their knowledge and understanding of their own and different religions. Furthermore, it should be remembered that the study of religion is neither a pre-requisite nor requirement for specific training as a teacher or leader in the different religions presented in the syllabus. The examination for Religious Education for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) is grounded in these understandings and the candidates sitting the examination should be aware of the focus of this academic discipline. The CSEC Religious Education examination consists of three components. Paper 01, the MultipleChoice paper, assesses four major world religions (Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism) along with six Caribbean indigenous religions and the Essentials of Religion. Paper 02, the Structured Essay paper, assesses candidates’ in-depth study of one of the major world religions. To date four religions (viz Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism) are offered for Paper 02 and candidates must respond to questions on one of these religions. 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 classroom in order to enable candidates to see how to use the knowledge gained in the classes to interpret and analyse the issues of the day. Candidates should also be encouraged to discuss issues in classroom discussions and helped to see that preaching is not necessarily engaging in analysis. Given the demands that the syllabus makes, it is advisable that, as for any other academic discipline, only teachers who have been trained in this area be engaged in its teaching. The tendency to believe that a teacher ‘who is religious’ is ably suited to teach the subject must be strenuously avoided.

DETAILED COMMENTS Paper 01 — Multiple Choice This paper consisted of 60 multiple-choice questions. Candidates were required to answer all 60 questions. Performance on this paper was quite satisfactory and was consistent with performance in previous years. Candidates demonstrated sound all-round knowledge and understanding of the content and objectives tested. A weakness noted in the previous examinations was again seen in the 2013 performance — candidates’ are still not prepared to handle the questions relating to the Caribbean indigenous religions. Teachers need to adequately prepare themselves for teaching this area of the syllabus by doing research on the Caribbean indigenous religions to better prepare their candidates for this aspect of the examination. The mean on this paper was 30.06.

PAPER 02 OPTION A — CHRISTIANITY Question 1 (Human Life Issues) This question tested Specific Objectives 3 and 5. This was the compulsory question for the option. Three thousand eight hundred and eighty-seven candidates responded to the question. It was the most popular question on the paper. This indicates that most of the candidates chose Christianity as the option for study for Paper 02. The highest score attained was 35, by five candidates. The mean score for this question was 16.34. The stimulus for the question was an excerpt from the encounter of Jesus with the woman who was caught in the act of adultery. The question sought to investigate the social issues surrounding the story and how Jesus responded to the woman and the social issues. In Part (b) of the question, candidates were asked to analyse the social issues presented in the passage. Candidates were also asked to compare the story of Zacchaeus with the story in the stimulus. The aim was for candidates to identify that both involved an encounter between Jesus and persons who would have been ostracized by their society and to analyse how Jesus’ actions could have been considered as restorative. Those candidates who were either familiar with the story or had studied it in preparation for the examination were able to respond adequately to Parts (a) and (b) of the question. In this case, candidates would have been able to identify the issues of forgiveness in the passage even though it was not explicitly stated in the stimulus. While many candidates were able to recall the story of Zacchaeus, they were unable to make direct comparisons with the story in the stimulus. While many offered generalized observations, many were not able to highlight the issues which were presented in the passage.

-4In Part (c) of the question, candidates were presented with the case of a factory closing and the promise of unemployment and a bleak economic future for a town. In the case presented it was also noted that the factory was being relocated to a new place where the product could be made more cheaply. The majority of candidates were able to use relevant Biblical information and teachings to enrich their discussions in Part (c). While this was commendable, many were unable to offer any concrete proposals based on Biblical teachings to the situation presented. Answers tended to be surreal and spiritual and not practical and concrete. In some cases, candidates chose not to answer this section of the question. Question 2 (The Bible) This question tested Specific Objective 1. One thousand, one hundred and eighty-one candidates responded to the question. It was the least popular of the optional questions in Option A. The highest score attained was 28, by one candidate. The mean score for this question was 11.25. The first part of the question dealt with the composition of the Biblical canon and the place of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the composition of the Bible. This year the question dealt with Biblical history and did not ask candidates to interpret a passage of the Bible. Part (c) of the question dealt with the issue of divorce and the teachings of the Bible on this matter. Generally candidates were able to adequately answer Part (a) (Knowledge) of the question. However, most candidates were unable to identify the documents being referred to as the Dead Sea Scrolls and were also unable to state how the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls helped in the study of the Bible. For Part (b), some candidates showed that they knew about the relationship between the Old Testament and the New Testament. However, the majority of candidates, including those who knew something about the relationship of the two testaments, had difficulty showing why it was important to study the Old Testament and how an understanding of this helped in the study of the New Testament. Here the difficulty of candidates to analyse proved to be a definite weakness. Unfortunately most candidates showed a lack of understanding of the Biblical Canon and were therefore unable to offer a description of its characteristics. Based on the responses of the candidates it could be assumed that they largely overlooked this section of the syllabus in preparation for the examination. For Part (c), many candidates presented acceptable responses. However, many answers were repetitious and gave the impression that while candidates had some idea of the response needed, they lacked sufficient content to offer the expected response. Question 3 (God) This question tested Specific Objectives 1 and 3. Three thousand four hundred and sixty-six candidates responded to it. Three candidates scored the maximum mark of 32. The mean score for this question was 15.49. The stimulus was taken from Acts 2: 2–4. This was the most popular of the optional questions, with approximately 98 per cent of the candidates who chose Option A attempting it. For the most part, candidates responded well to Part (a), which assessed Profile 1 (Knowledge). Parts (a) (i), (iii) and (iv) were answered favourably. Part (a) (ii) proved to be more challenging, but the stronger candidates were able to identify the specific day on which the event happened (Pentecost). The weaker candidates, for the most part, cited two major religious /worship festivals or Judgment Day. In Part (b), the stronger candidates were able to cite the relevant illustrations stating clearly how the event described in the passage enabled the spread of Christianity and also the functions of the Holy Spirit. The weaker candidates were, however, unable to interpret the questions and simply transcribed what was already presented in the stimulus.

-5Part (c) posed the greatest challenge for the weaker candidates. They were unable to link the various persons of the Trinity and as a result some stated that the Holy Spirit was not omnipresent but God was omnipresent. The stronger candidates demonstrated an understanding of the information presented in the extract and used their knowledge about God to their advantage to answer the question. While most candidates were able to state that the Holy Spirit was present in all churches they were, however, unable to present a reasoned argument to explain why this was so. Question 4 (Sin and Salvation) This question tested Specific Objectives 1,2,3,4,5, and 6 of Section 4, Option A. Three thousand and ninety-seven candidates responded to it. One candidate scored the maximum mark of 32. The mean score for this question was 13.52. It was the second most popular of the optional questions in Option A. The stimulus was a scenario which was topical and contemporary. Part (a) of the questions tested Profile 1 (Knowledge). Part (a) (i) and (a) (v) were answered very well by the candidates who were able to define sin in new and exciting terminologies. They also chose very interesting and appropriate Biblical illustrations which showed sin as personal failure to be responsible. A very wide range of Biblical passages was discussed from both the Old and the New Testaments. Commendations must be extended to the candidates in this area. Part (b), which tested Profile 2 (Interpretation and Analysis), was the area which presented some difficulty to the weaker candidates. These candidates were generally unable to “describe the involvement of God in the work of salvation through Jesus” and “show that salvation is available for all through faith in Christ”. However, the stronger candidates presented appropriate responses. Part (c) tested Profile 3 (Application). The stimulus material presented directed the candidates to give appropriate and interesting responses. The Biblical illustrations that were chosen revealed that the stronger candidates had adopted a mature approach in answering the question. The weaker candidates, however, were not able to relate the scenario to “Sin and Salvation”. Hence, their discussions lacked any relevant Biblical illustrations. OPTION B— HINDUISM General Comments Many candidates who attempted this option were not sufficiently prepared for the questions. However, there were some candidates who showed evidence of keen preparation. Teachers should emphasize that candidates should number the questions properly and indicate the questions selected in the space provided at the front cover of the booklet. Question 5 (Human Life Issues) The question aimed to test the candidate’s knowledge of the concepts of guruhood and discipleship, Hindu teachings on the meaning and purpose of life, abortion, and marital relations (the individuals’ roles, responsibilities and rights of individuals in areas of family life and work), Specific Objectives 2, 3 and 4. This was the compulsory question for the option. Fifty-six candidates responded to this question. The highest score attained was 34, by one candidate. The mean score for this question was 11.91. Some candidates demonstrated sound knowledge of the concepts being tested. However, some displayed a difficulty in expressing themselves. Due to this, some of what was explained lacked the depth necessary for their responses to be allocated full marks. Others who attempted the question used information from the stimuli of other questions, such as the issue of Arjuna found in Question 6 to formulate their responses.

-6The responses given for Part (a) (i) were not complete and in most cases could only be rewarded one mark of the two marks allotted for the question. Some candidates also had difficulties answering why the guru was angry with Ekalavya, Part (a) (ii). A response which gained full marks was “He [Ekalavya] was using the image of the guru and learning in front of it without permission”. Part (a) (iv) was also poorly done, as many candidates could not name the rite of passage where a Hindu child is initiated by a guru. Many gave no response to this question. The correct response to this is Janeo or Upanayana. Candidates, however, did fairly well in Part (a). In their response to Part (b), candidates showed some familiarity with the topic of abortion, but uncertainty with regard to the Hindu teachings on this subject. They struggled to make references to the concepts of ahimsa and dharma. Others merely rephrased the question in their responses. Most of the candidates made no mention of special circumstances in which abortion is allowed such as in the event of a risky pregnancy in which the life of the mother is threatened. In their responses to Part (c), candidates were clearly familiar with the rite of marriage. They were able to clearly articulate their views on the need to remain sexually pure until after marriage. They were also able to outline the fact that human beings are constantly tempted and therefore any efforts made to avoid sexual temptations should be supported. However, based on responses given by the candidates, they seemed to be generally referring to societal views of marriage (even though these views are influenced by religion) rather than specifically outlining the concept of marriage in Hinduism. The responses given in this section were generally satisfactory. Question 6 (The Ramayan and the Bhagvad Geeta) The question aimed to test candidate’s knowledge of the Bhagvad Geeta and the Ramayana, two of the Hindu sacred texts, Specific Objectives 3 and 4. Thirty-two candidates responded to this question. The highest score attained was 24, by one candidate. The mean score for this question was 10.75. In the question candidates were tested on: 1. The conversation which took place between Lord Krishna and Arjuna, the latter confused about his role as a warrior. Krishna educated him about his dharma (duty) as a warrior 2. The Ramayana of Valmiki which was recreated by Tulsidas 3. The interconnection between God and creation which includes the human souls 4. Love and mercy, as extended by Shri Rama for his enemy, Rawana 5. Lessons learned from the story of Bharat and Rama A significant number of candidates earned marks only on Parts (a) (i), (ii) and (iii) of the question. Most of the candidates scored full marks for (ii) as they could readily draw responses from the stimulus presented. Part (b) (ii), as well as Part (c), presented the same degree of difficulty, as many of the candidates did not know the stories associated with the stimulus. Candidates were also unable to develop their points effectively so they evaded the real question and rambled on about the concepts of mercy, love and sharing. This might have been caused by their inability to manipulate the language to adequately capture their ideas. In their response to Part (c), most candidates answered partially or in an imbalanced way, in that, they focused on the issue of the fight between the two brothers without using examples from the story of Bharat in the Ramayan. Candidates lacked the skills of comparison. In many instances, they failed to answer the question effectively and some did not even attempt it. Candidates could have used their experiences more to advise the brothers and apply the story where relevant.

-7Question 7 (The Absolute and the Avatars) This question tested candidates’ knowledge of God as Nirgun and Sagun Brahma, Specific Objectives 3 and 4. Twenty-four candidates responded to this question. The highest score attained was 16, by one candidate. The mean score for this question was 7.67. In responding to Part (a), candidates failed to utilize the passage effectively to arrive at the appropriate answers. Rather than examining the entire passage, candidates focused on “others worship Brahman the unmanifested and changeless”. As a result of this, candidates clearly identified Nirguna Brahman but not Saguna. This unfamiliarity with the Saguna concept made the responses for Parts (a) (ii) and (iii) unsatisfactory. The candidates’ responses to Parts (a) (iv) and (v) were done fairly well. Some candidates had challenges responding to Parts (b) (i) and (ii); their limited knowledge of the concepts, made their responses inadequate. The concepts expected were Saguna and Nirguna Brahman, and Parmaatman. Since these concepts may be foreign to the candidates much emphasis should be placed on familiarizing candidates with these and other essential concepts necessary for an understanding of Hinduism. Candidates’ response to Part (c) about caring for the environment was quite general. Candidates failed to address the question from a Hindu point of view. For the most part, candidates wrote at length but no application of knowledge was displayed that demonstrated the Hindu views on their duty of caring for their environment. This is of utmost importance as Religious Education is taught as a unique mode of thought distinct from other disciplines. Question 8 (Concept of Sin and Salvation) This question tested Specific Objectives 1, 2, and 3. Thirty-eight candidates responded to this question. The highest score attained was 22, by one candidate. The mean score for this question was 11.39. Part (a) of the question required candidates to use a stimulus provided to answer Part (ii), which most of the candidates were able to answer. Some, however, needed to be more detailed in their responses; for example, “bottle of rum” as an answer was insufficient to state the adharmic action of “drinking alcohol.” The definition of ‘adharma/sin” needed more elaboration from candidates. There were too many responses being examples of adharma rather than a definition. It must be noted that most of the candidates were unable to state two ways in which sin affects the spiritual progress of the individual required for Part (a) (iii). It would seem that many candidates either did not understand or were unable to relate “spiritual progress” with “moksha”, and so most of the responses indicated two effects in the present life rather than the next life. Many candidates were able to give one way in which parents’ adharma affects children in the family as required for Part (a) (iv). Part (a) (v), proved to be even more challenging for candidates and many candidates scored zero on this part of the question. Candidates’ responses to Part (c) required a discussion involving showing Sharda how her behaviour of partying and drinking alcohol could affect her present life as well as her spiritual progress. They were required to provide advice on her spiritual progress, and provide advice to her on getting back on the right path in light of Hindu teachings. Candidates tried to identify the negative implications of drinking and partying — for example, her school performance would be negatively affected and she would be looked down upon by others in her community. In addition to these points, candidates needed to discuss Sharda’s duties as bramacharya, the virtues she needed to develop such as tolerance, adaptability, selfcontrol, non-violence and learning to live the ideal life in order to achieve moksha. Limited suggestions were given to Sharda as to how she can get out of this bondage. Candidates should have clearly outlined that Sharda needed to get in the right company that will lead her in the right way, and to surrender to God and seek his forgiveness and mercy.

-8This entire question was not handled well by candidates who attempted it. Their responses were limited and lacked a display of interpretation and analytic skills. It was clear that candidates were not prepared thoroughly for answering this question. They did not address adequately the relationship between the individual’s soul embodied as humans who have fallen from the pure state of sat-chit-ananda. The purpose of life, whichever form, is to realize the true nature of God as Sat-Chit-Aanand Svaroop pure existence, pure consciousness and pure bliss. OPTION C — ISLAM General Comments Many candidates who attempted the Islam option were not sufficiently prepared for the questions. However, there were some candidates who showed evidence of keen preparation. Teachers should emphasize that candidates should number the questions properly and indicate the questions selected in the space provided at the front cover of the booklet. Generally, candidates displayed an inability to identify salient points from a question and address what was necessary to provide good responses. In most instances, they were imbalanced in their responses, focusing only on one aspect of the question. They also displayed poor comprehension skills. Question 9 (Human Life Issues) This question tested Specific Objectives 2 and 4. Fifty-four candidates responded to this question. The highest score attained was 33, by three candidates. The mean score for this question was 11.39. The question tested candidates understanding of a vicegerent and his/her roles and functions. It also tested the importance of family life in the Islamic society. This was the compulsory question for this option. Many candidates answered Parts (i), (iv) and (v) correctly. The few who answered incorrectly clearly did not know who is a vicegerent. The stimulus was well utilized by most candidates in answering a (ii) and (iii), however, some mixed up the answers. Candidates should be reminded to read questions with care and to answer them accordingly by using the given stimulus. Candidates’ responses to Part (b) showed that some understood the functions of a vicegerent and the attributes of Allah which were mentioned in the stimulus, but maximum points were not awarded due to their failure to elaborate on these. Most of the responses provided for Part (c) showed that candidates found this part of the question interesting. However, maximum points were not awarded because they did not sufficiently develop their arguments by using relevant Qur’an and Hadith references. Some responses were also quite repetitive. Question 10 (The Qur’an) This question tested Specific Objectives 1, 3 and 4. Twenty-nine candidates responded to this question. The highest score attained was 26, by two candidates. The mean score for this question was 11.39. The question tested candidates’ understanding of the Holy Qur’an and its compilation, the role of the Caliphs in compiling and circulating the authenticity of the Qur’an. The majority of candidates answered Part (a) well. Some were unfamiliar with the Arabic names used for the ‘Message’. Others were unfamiliar with the names in general. Candidates also responded well to Part (b). The responses were logical and sequential. Some candidates wrote at length about the Qur’an and in some instances provided information that was relevant to the questions asked. Some candidates obtained maximum scores in this section.

-9In Part (c) some of the candidates were unable to convince the friend that the publication of a new version of the Qur’an must be a false document. While it was necessary to advise the friend to safeguard himself against certain websites or gravitating easily towards such, some candidates spoke at length about websites and their nature — instead of focusing on the question. There were some candidates nonetheless, who produced fair to satisfactory responses. Question 11 (Concept of Allah) This question tested Specific Objectives 3 and 6. Sixteen candidates responded to this question. The highest score attained was 20, by three candidates. The mean score for this question was 11.39. The question aimed to test candidates’ understanding of:    The belief in Al-Qadr (Divine Decree) The belief in Divine Scripture — in relation to the concept of ‘Wahi’ (revelation) and the Final Revelation Reverence/Respect for Allah

This question was the least popular question in Option C. It may be construed that candidates seemed to have avoided this question as they might not have a clear grasp of the concept of God in Islam — especially to that of Al-Qadr (Divine Decree/Predestination) Candidates who attempted this question did so poorly. This is important to note because this concept of Al-Qadr was tested in the Knowledge section, Part (a) of the question. These were lower-order questions which required candidates to simply recall information. It is therefore recommended to teachers that this concept be taught in depth. Most candidates were also unable to identify that the belief in Al-Qadr was being referred to – and as a result were unable to give elements of their understanding of this belief in Part (a) (i) to (iv). They were also unable to give different examples of the things to be recorded in the ‘Book’ (such as: time of birth, time of death, failures and successes). The majority of the candidates who attempted this question were unable to gain maximum marks. Part (b) was better managed by the candidates who were able to discuss the concept of ‘Wahi’ (revelation), providing information related to the transference of such revelation from Allah via Angel Gabriel to His Prophets. Due to the similarities in understanding the concepts in both Parts (b) (i) and (b) (ii), some candidates were able to transfer such knowledge to adequately answer them, both of which tested Specific Objective 3 of the ‘Concept of Allah’ in Section C of the syllabus. For Part (b) (i), better responses included information related to Allah revealing the Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad with Angel Gabriel being responsible for bringing it. Candidates also mentioned that Angel Gabriel (referred to in the stimulus) is referred to as the Holy Spirit. Adequate responses of candidates in Part (b) (i) included the idea of there being other revelations of Allah which have been tampered with or changed. These candidates also stated that the Qur’an is preserved, is the final revelation given by Allah and should be the only book used. The responses of candidates in Part (c) (Application) indicated that they had limited knowledge of why Allah should be respected. They were even unable to give a general explanation of why a deity should be given respect. Many candidates did not provide sufficient references from Islamic texts to support their arguments. Teachers need to ensure that emphasis is placed on candidates having adequate knowledge of the Islamic scriptures.

-10Good responses provided explanation that respecting the deity of Islam is a reflection of a Muslim’s faith and that Allah is the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe — hence the need to respect Him. Poor responses failed to mention and develop actions of Allah that make Him deserving of such respect. Question 12 (Sin, Punishment and Reward) This question tested Specific Objectives 1, 2, and 3. Fifty candidates responded to this question. It was the most popular optional question for Option C. The highest score attained was 27, by two candidates. The mean score for this question was 15.74. Part (a) of the question was handled quite well. Many of the candidates could identify the major and minor sins in Islam as required for (a) (ii). Parts (iii) and (iv) were answered using the information in the stimulus; hence most candidates were able to earn maximum points. Part (b), however, presented some difficulty to candidates. In Part (b) (i), some candidates experienced difficulty interpreting the quotation: “Every man’s fate we have fastened on his own neck…” At least two candidates took the quote literally. Some candidates, for (b) (ii), repeated their responses about obedience to parents or treating them with respect. They did not make reference to the Qur’an. Some candidates repeated themselves again in Part (c) — by rephrasing the same idea. Some were able to make actual quotes from the Qur’an while others did not. OPTION D — JUDAISM General Comments Many candidates who attempted the Judaism option were not sufficiently prepared for the questions. However, there were some candidates who showed evidence of keen preparation. It was not a popular option. It is envisaged that as teachers become more comfortable with the syllabus more students will be registered for this option. Teachers should emphasize that candidates should number the questions properly and indicate the questions selected in the space provided at the front cover of the booklet. Question 13 (Human Life Issues) This question tested Specific Objectives 1 and 2. Seventy-five candidates responded to this question. The highest score attained was 27, by one candidate. This was the compulsory question for the option. The mean score for this question was 12.05. The question focused on the concept of stewardship and the responsibility to foreigners and the less fortunate. This was the compulsory question for the option. The candidates responded well to Part (a). They were able to do so as the stimulus provided the responses to the questions. However, many candidates were only able to respond to Part (a) of the question. The majority of them had great difficulty in providing satisfactory responses to Parts (b) and (c). In Part (b) (ii), for instance, candidates were familiar with the term ‘kosher’, but they were not able to explain its relationship to stewardship. Those candidates who attempted to respond to Part (c) did so quite generally and were not able to support their points using teachings from the TeNaKh. It is quite evident that most of the candidates who attempted this question were unprepared.

-11Question 14 (The TeNaKH) This question tested Specific Objectives 3 and 4. Forty-two candidates responded to this question. The highest score attained was 23, by one candidate. This was the most popular question for Option D. The mean score for this question was 11.40. Parts (a) (i), (iii) and (iv) were done well as candidates were able to extract the information from the stimulus provided. However, (a) (ii) presented some challenge to them and some simply gave back the ‘Sabbath’ as their response. This gained no marks as the question required candidates to name two holy days, apart from the ‘Sabbath’. The responses for Parts (b) and (c) were very limited as candidates seemed to be unable to transfer their knowledge appropriately. Most candidates who attempted this question responded to Part (a) only. More emphasis should be placed on ensuring that candidates are familiar with the content for this option, so that they will know when to make the distinction between Judaism and Christianity. Proper knowledge of the content will help candidates respond in an effective and relevant way. Question 15 (God) This question tested Syllabus Objectives 3 and 4. Forty-one candidates responded to this question. The highest score attained was 18, by one candidate. The mean score for this question is 8.56. Candidates were able to answer the knowledge-based question, Part (a), and the majority gave the correct responses. Candidates showed that they comprehended the stimulus and were able to extract the relevant information to answer the questions asked. However, not all the answers were to be found in the passage and this was deliberately so as, candidates were expected to recall information on the specific objective tested. Hence, teachers should guide their students accordingly. Parts (b) and (c) were not well done. Candidates lacked knowledge of the necessary content to respond to the questions and most simply provided no response for these two parts. Teachers must encourage candidates to read widely through materials and guide them in critically analysing the scriptures. They should also guide candidates in developing their points for each response, so as to aid in their writing skills. Question 16 (Festivals) The question tested Syllabus Objectives 1, 2, 3 and 4. Thirty-nine candidates attempted this question. The highest score was 22, which was achieved by one candidate. The mean score for this question was 10.26. While most candidates who attempted this question were able to use the stimulus passage and respond favourably to Part (a), Parts (b) and (c) of the question were not well done. Candidates did not seem to have knowledge of the necessary content to provide adequate responses. Some weaknesses identified included: a) Inability to adequately interpret and analyse questions. b) Inadequate development and separation of paragraphs. c) In accurate content for religion. For example, Jesus is used to refer to the Jewish G-d. d) Linking of inaccurate festivals and observances to the appropriate beliefs in the religion.

-12PAPER 03 School-Based Assessment (SBA) While marking the SBA samples for the 2013 examination, the following were observed and identified: Presentation a) The overall presentation and organization of the research papers were neat. b) There was evidence of some samples with the old format or evidence of the old syllabus being used as a guideline. Aims a) In most cases they were clearly stated. b) However, they were not clearly written as stipulated in the guidelines. c) Aims in some cases were not related to the topic or not discussed in the body of the research paper. d) Candidates used questions instead of statements to formulate their aims. Information Collection a) There was a fairly clear description of the information collection procedure in most cases. b) In some instances, candidates confused this area with the Summary of Findings. c) Instead of submitting a review of literature, some candidates plagiarized presented unnecessary information and too lengthy data. d) In most cases, candidates did not adhere to the word limit. e) Some research papers were written in point form, instead of essay format. Analysis and Interpretation a) In most instances, candidates rewrote their findings or gave a repeat of the “Summary of Findings”, rather than analysed or explained them. b) Teachers in most cases are not sure of what this section should include as the teachers scored candidates’ work quite highly although no analysis was done. c) In a few cases, no analysis and interpretation were included in the research paper. d) A lot of graphs and questionnaires were used, but not interpreted by the candidates. Conclusions a) In many cases, candidates rewrote their findings without making any inferences or discussions. b) Some conclusions were vague and did not inter-relate with the aims or the rest of the research. Overall/General Findings a) Teachers in some territories are quite familiar with the guidelines and requirements while others are not. b) Many teachers are still using the old syllabus instead of the revised one. c) Teachers need to pay closer attention to the process of the SBA as many are too lengthy and the structure is poor.

-13RECOMMENDATIONS For School Administrators: 1. Schools should ensure that teachers have the necessary resources needed for the teaching of the option of specialization for Paper 02. Schools should ensure that these resources are in hand before selecting options for the Paper 02. 2. It is highly recommended that teachers arrange to take candidates on field trips to places of worship of the religion studied — in order for candidates to ascertain firsthand information. This will aid candidates to make relevant observations and provide detailed and accurate responses. This is also important for candidates prepared for the Christianity option. 3. Every effort should be made to ensure that only persons qualified to teach this subject are appointed to teach the subject. Principals are reminded that the study of religion is not a course intended for faith development and as such simply attending a place of worship does not qualify an individual to teach the subject. For Teachers: 1. Teachers should stimulate further discussions on social issues in their classes. During such discussions, emphasis should be placed on the teaching of the religions being studied for Paper 02 of the examinations. 2. Prior to the examination, teachers should caution candidates against the use of information in one examination question to answer another. 3. Teachers should also inform candidates of the allocation of marks for questions. Teaching them how these marks are allocated can guide them in estimating the length of the required answer, as candidates sometimes gave a few lines for a question worth ten marks. 4. Candidates should be reminded that they should ONLY attempt the questions in the options for which they have been prepared. Candidates should be reminded that they place themselves at a disadvantage if they attempt questions from more than one option in Paper 02. 5. Schools need to engage in projects to improve the candidates’ reading, spelling and writing skills (by targeting the oral and the written language) as the candidates writing patterns often make it difficult to interpret their responses. 6. Teachers should seek creative ways to immerse their candidates in the culture of the religion selected for specialization. This would be helpful to enable candidates to develop an appreciation for the religion. 7. Teachers should ensure that candidates are familiar with the terms and concepts in the syllabus so that candidates can better know what is being expected of them in the examination questions. 8. Candidates should study the designated passages of the sacred texts (Qur’an, Bible, TeNaKh, Ramayan and the Bhagvad Geeta) that are in the syllabus so that they can make reference to them when answering questions.…...

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