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…disappointed with slippages that showed up in CSEC grading
Though there was undeniable disappointment, regionally, in the initial 2020 CSEC and CAPE results which did not accurately reflect the efforts of students, Education Minister, Priya Manickchand said that there was also disappointment in Guyana’s system which allowed for several slippages.
In 2021, the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) released its updated results from the examinations following the controversy surrounding the grading of the exams after it made changes to manoeuvre the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 19, at Guyana’s official announcement of these results locally, the Education Minister said that while the ordeal was undoubtedly a cause for worry, there were also concerns about Guyana’s education system and the shortcomings therein.
MORE STRINGENT MEASURES
“I want to say that we have recognised that our system allowed for a lot of slippage that could allow an examining body, if they want to be extremely strict, to cause our students to be disadvantaged. In other words, schools, in many cases, didn’t do what they were supposed to do,” she said.
“We have to be more accountable at the level of schools, at the level of the regions and, definitely, at a level centrally. So, you’ll see what might appear to be more stringent measures put in place against persons who are not compliant. We can’t have a teacher not submitting a child’s grade and the child getting zero for that. It’s not fair to the student and it would be us failing in our duties.”
The Minister said that, because of these concerns, the Ministry is regularly checking in with schools to ensure that there isn’t such reoccurrence. Presently, the Ministry has information on matters such as how many School-Based Assessments (SBAs) are expected from a particular school; how many have been submitted; which students are yet to complete their SBAs and more. Manickchand said that while the deadline for the SBAs is still unknown, the Ministry has given itself its own deadline and is engaging in rigorous monitoring.
GUYANA MADE REPRESENTATION
Meanwhile, she also assured the public that the positive changes noticed in the final grades would not have been possible without countries like Guyana taking the forefront to push for reviews and corrections.
“The country is not unaware of the uproar that happened across the region, but that was led by Guyana in many ways that caused an entire examination body to re-look at what had happened,” Manickchand said. She referenced students from Queen’s College and other schools who organised themselves into groups and protested for action on CXC’s part.
She said: “You would not have had that same picture [or the recently announced grades] if we didn’t robustly advocate and represent the students at the level of CXC and the Region, and we did that consistently and repeatedly.” The Education Minister said that she is aware that some students are still upset about the grades they received post-review and that this disappointment has caused many students emotional distress. However, she assured that the Ministry of Education was relentless in its push for CXC to re-look at the results released. Following the examinations, Guyana has topped the region both in the CSEC and CAPE and received improved pass rates for both examinations.