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…thousands from region sign petitions demanding a review
…CXC points Candidates to USD$30 review fee per subject, deadline October 23
The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) is under fire from people across the Caribbean who have noticed glaring irregularities in the results released for candidates on Tuesday.
A Regional Petition signed by over 12,000 already is gaining much traction for the Council to review its July 2020 results as many believe that there are inconsistencies with the graded CSEC and CAPE results distributed to candidates via the Online Student Portals.
In Guyana, the Queen’s College Parent Teacher Association (PTA) has invited the media to an urgent press conference at 11:00 hours today to discuss “serious, fundamental and widespread issues identified with the 2020 CXC results.”
Leader of The Citizenship Initiative (TCI), Rondha-Ann Lam who is also a teacher, took to her Facebook page to complain of the unfair examination and how it has affected students.
She posed to the Council: “Students paid you for a full exam paper rollout. You offered no discounts when you decided to change the format. We, teachers, knew a multiple-choice exam would not be sufficient given the fact that these papers have the same questions year after year. In addition, their actual writing skills and full knowledge would not be tested. You didn’t listen. You made my babies write a reformatted paper IN A PANDEMIC. We humored you and prepped our children following your new guidelines. Now the results are in and you are telling me, the same children I’ve taught for years and know their abilities, suddenly dropped the ball in a multiple-choice exam and with decent SBA scores?”
Students across the Region wrote the exam amidst a global health crisis. When the Council announced in May that the exams would be held in July, many bodies in the region, including the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU), expressed that teachers and students needed more time. Even so, thousands of students pushed through, completing the exam on the online portal.
Lam is not the only individual who shared her concerns about the end result, nor is Guyana the only country. In Barbados, one candidate commented: “I got full marks in all my SBAs and I did past papers the day before the Environmental Science exam. Many of the questions came back so I know they were correct. However, I got a grade Six.”
Coming out of Trinidad and Tobago, the Daily Express stated that one teacher reported that almost an entire class failed in three subject areas due to what she described as a mix-up in grading.
“I have one student in particular who consistently performed well,” she said. “In fact, we had her down to win a scholarship. But her grades came back with a four and two fives. That is impossible. This is a student who consistently topped the class. She is devastated. She has been crying ever since the results came out.”
The Daily Express reported, too, that another parent said her daughter’s results stated that she was absent for the exams. She insisted that her daughter wrote all her exams, and she could not understand how she was graded as “absent”.
Meanwhile, the Jamaica Observer reported that the country’s Acting Chief Education Officer Dr. Kasan Troupe has received multiple reports of results inconsistencies and the requisite authority will be collecting that information from schools in the best interest of the students.
The Caribbean Examinations Council has recently responded to questions surrounding the results of the July 2020 Examinations pointing candidates to a “long-established process” to address questions they may have. A review will cost each candidate USD$30 which may result in their overall Grade either increasing, decreasing, or remaining the same. If the review increases their overall grade, they will be refunded the review fee.
Savitri Persad from Trinidad and Tobago pointed out, however: “This is unfair to parents and students. Cost per [review] is USD$30. What about poor students who worked so hard to have their results messed up? They must pay USD$120 to USD$130. No! No! Not right at all!”
Crucial to note, is that Candidates have up until Friday 23 October 2020 to submit queries or request a review. CXC offered no additional information to the specific issues highlighted by educators, parents, and students across the region.
There are now two other regional petitions that have started, signed by thousands of persons demanding a review of grades by CXC after yesterday’s release of the July 2020 Examination results.