CXC did not prioritize student welfare for 2021 exams

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Mr. Editor,

September 22 marks one year since the publication of the results of the Caribbean Examination Council’s CSEC and CAPE 2020 exams, and the start of a struggle to ensure the best interests and fair and accurate grades for students in our region. We sincerely hope that 12 months later we could report that all issues have been resolved and the CXC is more suitable for use today. Unfortunately, it is not the case.

Many students remain at a disadvantage with the erroneous 2020 results, due to an inadequate review process that only resulted in grade adjustments up 1%. While the review process was lackluster, we recognize that it would not have happened, and that an independent review team would not have been assembled without the strident advocacy of the parent and child organic groups. students who joined together in the Caribbean Coalition to Repair Examinations.

Nevertheless, many students missed the application deadlines last year due to late and erroneous results, others lost scholarships and, in a few cases, university internships. The 2020 crisis therefore had a profound, lasting and material impact on the students of this region, and even on the future of our region.

But instead of reflecting on the serious mistakes of 2020 and adapting concomitantly, the CXC, aided by the regional education system, did not prioritize the well-being of students and the principles of equity in the administration of 2021 exams. As a result, the Council continued with a standstill approach offering its full range of exams, with some inadequate concessions masquerading as gracious mercies, and of which 75% of the student body was totally dissatisfied as evidenced by the CCER’s Student Satisfaction Survey. In several areas, questions appeared on exam papers that were not included in the statement of general topics. Likewise, we are told of many instances where questions or instructions have been constructed in an illogical and inaccurate manner. We have yet to see how these challenges have affected our students.

Perhaps most deleterious of all, the delay in the review period has resulted in a prolonged delay in this year’s results release deadline as CXC’s decision to administer all documents comes back to haunt their ability to distribute the notes. On every occasion since the arrangements for this year’s exams were settled, the CXC has solemnly promised that the results will be released between the last week of September and the first week of October. The students relied on that promise and asked their universities to maintain their conditional acceptances well beyond the usual time until the promised date. However, in a brief statement released last week, the Council sought to “remind” stakeholders that the results will be released by mid-October, without acknowledging that this is a fundamental violation of its law. commitment and will therefore have serious consequences for the students who were only able to obtain extensions from the universities until the first week of October.

Perhaps the only thing worse than the arrangements for exams this year and last year has been the appalling disregard for students, parents and teachers as actors in education, which is manifested continually in abrasive press releases and blunt engagements.

It is therefore not surprising that students in the region have little confidence in CXC’s ability to administer exams and assign marks. The Caribbean Exam Repair Coalition joins students in the region in reiterating our call for the establishment of an independent commission of inquiry to investigate the operations of the CXC and recommend measures for its complete overhaul to adapt it to its goal. Unless and until the issues giving rise to erroneous results are resolved and corrected, the CXC should not be permitted to continue conducting examinations, a function for which it appears incapable as it is currently constituted. . It has been a long journey, but we will never tire of defending the best interests of the students in our region.

Truly,

Paula-Anne Moore

Coordinator and leader

Spokesperson (CCER)

Khaleel Kothdiwala

Senior student lawyer at the

CCER.

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