The confusion and anxiety over mistakes in the grading of the Caribbean Examination Council’s (CXC) School Based Assessment (SBA) projects, are now over.
This is because the regional examination body has introduced a new fix for the glitches which plagued the online uploading of the project scores in 2017 and to a lesser extent 2018, CXC Registrar, Glenroy Cumberbatch, has revealed.
This morning Cumberbatch did not go into specifics about what was wrong in the first place but he told Barbados TODAY that the technology, which was supposed to have been ready last year, would now be introduced in time for the 2019 sitting of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exams.
“Yes, the process of uploading the SBA scores is done, but we had a new system that we used for uploading SBA and it did have some teething problems. We were hoping to introduce a revised version of it in 2018 but unfortunately that was not ready for that year. However we will be ready for this year,” Cumberbatch assured.
The CXC Registrar made it clear that there would be no going back to the old way of doing things, noting that there was no hiding from technology.
“What you used to have was sheets of paper where you have to enter scores in and then send those scores forward. Obviously, you can get transposing problems with those if you don’t do them properly. We have gone to a technological environment. We
are trying to make things a lot easier,” he said.
When exam results came out in 2017 and 2018 students from several secondary schools, in some cases entire classes, complained that they received ungraded for their SBAs even though the projects were submitted on time and the teacher uploaded the marks via the CXC online portal. This was also the case for some schools in St Lucia and Trinidad. In 2017 some students of Combermere School were left in tears after learning their SBAs for the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination Management of Business course and a CXC Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate Geography examination were not graded. CXC has since adjusted the marks where proof of submission was provided.
However, the matter was compounded by the ongoing calls from teachers across the region, including the Barbados Secondary Teachers Union (BSTU), to be paid by CXC for marking the SBA projects. On several occasions in the last two years, teachers have threatened not to mark them. They have long argued that the workload was too much. This morning Cumberbatch told Barbados TODAY that his organization is no longer a part of the dispute as any discussion of payment is now between teachers and their respective governments.
“The SBA discussion relating to whether teachers are paid or not, was approached by the teachers’ unions through CXC. We had a discussion and we also had a consultation with our governments. I can tell you that the matter is now being dealt with at each governmental level by the unions for those countries. So, the Caribbean Examinations Council is not involved directly in this discussion about payment for teachers,” he said.