CMC – Grenada has become the latest Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country expressing concerns at the results of this year’s examinations set by the Barbados-based Caribbean Examination Council (CXC).
Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Jamaica, St Lucia, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago have all voiced similar concerns following the release of the exams results this week.
In a statement, the Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development, Religious Affairs and Information said that it has been brought to its attention that some Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) results “were returned ungraded” and as a result the ministry is in the process of addressing the matter with the CXC.
“Several candidates received ungraded results due to an issue identified with incomplete SBA uploads and a glitch in CXC’s SBA uploads automated response system,” it said, listing the various subjects including Pure Mathematics, Environmental Science, Management of Business, Sociology, Communication Studies; Caribbean Studies and Law.
The authorities said that CXC has so far provided an additional support platform to the T.A. Marryshow Community College (TAMCC) to accommodate the uploading of the missing SBAs.
“Consequently, the CAPE grades that were issued as ungraded will be re-issued to students in the shortest possible time. The Ministry of Education apologises for any inconvenience caused and sincerely thanks members of the public for their understanding and patience.
“The public can rest assured that the Ministry will continue to work towards ensuring a swift resolution to this matter,” the statement said.
Barbados Education Minister, Santia Bradshaw, has called on CXC to conduct an “urgent investigation” into concerns over the recently released CAPE and CSEC examination results.
“The disquiet among students who recently received the Caribbean Examinations Council’s CAPE and CSEC examinations is definitely cause for concern. I am of the view that an urgent investigation must be carried out by CXC into this matter to preserve the integrity of the examinations.
“I know that the Council has already responded to indicate the procedure to initiate the review process by Friday, October 23. And while there must be respect for process, I do feel however that given the unprecedented number of students who have raised concerns, particularly those online, I would strongly urge CXC to move swiftly to investigate and also to consider the waiver of fees associated with the review, ’she said in a statement.
“Indeed these are not normal times and as a cloud of uncertainty looms over the heads of several of our students who are preparing to go off to university, it is incumbent on CXC to urgently resolve this matter so that they can get on with their lives,” she stated.
On Thursday, one Guyana’s leading secondary schools, Queen’s College, threatened legal action and possibly lobbying for withdrawal from the CXC.
“If CXC does not bend, we will petition – and we plan to do so through the Ministry of Education – to remove Guyana from the Council from writing the CXC examination. There are other examination bodies and we can very well carry our business there,” Queen’s College principal, Jackie Benn said.
Students, in the presence of a number of teachers and parents, chanted “Fix those grades, fix those grades” outside the Examinations Division of the Ministry of Education, and called on CXC to withdraw the results and award marks that were actually earned.
Benn said if the CXC does not conduct a thorough review of all of the examination grades, her publicly-funded institution would be moving to the High Court to block the declaration of the final results.
“We have already consulted a lawyer. Our intention is to ensure that we file an injunction to block the declaration of the results,” she said.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly has sought to assure students and parents who have expressed concern over the CSEC/CAPE results, that all of the required steps to ensure that the issue is adequately addressed, will be taken.
The education minister said she has personally spoken to the CXC on the matter and that the issue is causing distress, especially for the students involved who are already stressed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.