The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) still has not finalized grades for this year’s CSEC and CAPE examinations.
In its latest update, the regional examining body said the review process was continuing, according to a release posted on its website last Saturday.
“The Caribbean Examinations Council appreciates your continued patience as we work towards finalizing grades for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) July/August examinations.
“In our communication of December 7, 2020, we indicated that we are in the process of reviewing borderline cases, in particular single grade changes, as well as the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and that we would provide an update this week. During this process, we have endeavoured to be thorough and to comply with our quality assurance processes. At this time, we advise that this review is still in process. We will continue to provide updates accordingly,” the release stated.
Meanwhile, the Caribbean Coalition for CXC Exam 2020 Redress has paused its lobbying for the Yuletide season.
However, it has given the assurance that it will continue in its quest for students to be given their proper CSEC and CAPE grades.
The coalition has been pushing for CXC to rectify the poor grades which it awarded to thousands of students from this year’s CSEC and CAPE exams, taken during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The stakeholders from across the region are especially concerned that candidates with a history of high performance received grades well below what was anticipated.
“The Caribbean Coalition for CXC 2020 Redress will pause our public advocacy, out of respect for the Christmas season. Rest assured, we are going nowhere until these adversely-affected children obtain the 2020 CSEC and CAPE grades they earned and reasonable 2021assessment plans are devised, involving key education stakeholders, and communicated adequately to the CARICOM public, particularly children, as assessment candidates and teachers,” the body said in a press statement.
“Plans are underway for further advocacy on a range of other issues affecting our CARICOM children, once CXC 2020 and 2021 issues are satisfactorily concluded.”
With the 2021 exams approaching, principals of secondary schools in Jamaica have also called for CXC to properly explain its marking procedure.
President of the Jamaica Association of Principals of Secondary Schools, Linvern Wright said this was necessary due to the lack of face-to-face learning brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wright pointed out that in most schools only 50 per cent or fewer of students are online, and as such examining bodies should be considerate.
“The concerns are grounded in the fact that instruction for a significant number of students has been non-existent or seriously compromised by a lack of access to technology or face-to-face teaching,” she told the Jamaica Observer.
Jamaica’s Education Minister Fayval Williams said they had already had discussions with CXC on the matter.
“From consultation with our principals of high schools, concerns have been expressed about the ability of our students to complete these exams successfully, given the challenges with pedagogical continuity due to the limitations on in-person learning. The ministry shares these concerns and has begun further negotiations with the CXC,” she said.
Williams said the council has explained that, based on its analysis, it is not recommended that the content coverage for their exams be reduced, but that they proceed with a delayed sitting of the exam from May-June to June-July, given the COVID-19 pandemic.
CXC has also proposed to return to using the regular format of the exams — paper one, paper two, and School-based assessments/paper 3 — with 100 per cent moderation. (RB)