The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) is sticking to its guns.
CXC registrar and chief executive officer, Dr Wayne Wesley has defended the body’s grading system and given his assurance that a “rigorous quality assurance mechanism” had been executed.
His comments come amidst scores of complaints from students across the region who took this year’s Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) and Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and reported surprising results.
Minister of Education Santia Bradshaw had called for an urgent investigation to be carried out by CXC in response to those reports.
In a hastily called Zoom meeting this afternoon, Dr Wesley said he was confident CXC had done a good job in grading those papers.
“In the administration of our examination there is a rigorous quality assurance mechanism process that is executed. That quality assurance mechanism ensures that there are detail checks of every single subject with a detailed report and as is customary with the end of our assessment process that there are queries that will be made; that is why there is a window between preliminary results being released and final results being released.
“Those concerns that are raised we will treat to and provide the requisite responses,” Dr Wesley said.
However, he reiterated that there would be no investigation by CXC into the CAPE or CSEC results.
Dr Wesley revealed that, to date, CXC had only received concerns from two territories. However, he did not name them.
He said CXC was yet to receive any formal complaints from students.
However, he said students could follow the protocol in place if they wished to have their grades reviewed.
Dr Wesley maintained that the results of this year’s exams were in line with results of previous years.
In fact, he pointed out there was an increase in performance this year, with students receiving acceptable grades.
He said this year, 93.25 per cent of students setting the CAPE exam received acceptable grades, which was higher than the previous three years.
With regard to CSEC, Dr Wesley disclosed that 79.57 per cent of students sitting the exam received acceptable grades, which was also higher than the three previous years.
He contended that those results did not suggest there were any inaccuracies by CXC.
“The overall performance shows an overall improvement in the performance for the region in both CAPE and CSEC. I think the notion that there is widespread achievement of less than acceptable grade is not borne out.
“In fact, this year you have less persons receiving less than acceptable grades of any other period for the last three or four years,” Dr Wesley pointed out.
As part of a shortened examination due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students setting this year’s exams were graded on a multiple choice exam and their school based assessments (SBAs).
Despite the challenges encountered by CXC, Dr Wesley said he was satisfied with the manner in which his organization had operated.
“Certainly we are very much pleased with the fact that over the year 93 per cent received acceptable grades for the first time as well as CSEC, which had improved performance for the past four years, that’s what I’m pleased about,” he said.
As a form of protest, students and parents demonstrated outside CXC’s Wildey headquarters this afternoon.