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By Orville Williams

Students and teachers across the country are being urged to complete outstanding School Based Assessments (SBAs), ahead of next month’s deadline.

The call is coming from local Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) Registrar, Myrick Smith, who spoke during a Ministry of Education press conference last Friday. He said (likely due to circumstances surrounding the pandemic) there are some institutions that have not completed these exercises.

“From all indications, there are many schools where those processes have not been completed yet, so it is very important for teachers and students therefore…to get underway as soon as possible, have those exercises completed and marked by the relevant teachers.

“For subject areas including Visual Arts, Theatre Arts, the science subjects and Industrial Technology subjects such as Building Technology, Electrical and Electronic Technology and Technical Drawing, the moderation will be on-site, [meaning] taking place here in Antigua, so those exercises must be completed with some amount of urgency,” he said.

Smith also informed that the deadline for submissions has been extended for the second time by CXC. Under regular circumstances, the deadline would have been the end of April for CSEC and the end of May for CAPE and CCSLC, but an extension was first given for CSEC (to the end of May) and for CAPE (to the end of June). 

He said a second extension was given for CSEC last week to June 30, meaning the deadline for all subjects (CCSLC, CAPE and CSEC) is now June 30.

Smith also explained that, while the June 30 deadline is in place, there is a window of opportunity for some extra time if needed.

“Notwithstanding that, there is still the possibility that additional time could be granted if requested. The absolute deadline though, is July 31 and so we are working towards that. I would like to encourage all schools…to work towards the June 30 deadline and if for any reason additional time is required, then we have some time that we could request from CXC,” he said.

Along with managing these adjustments, Smith said there is another issue that teachers might have to deal with.

“The other challenge that would be faced at this time, specifically for teachers, is there might be some problems with the Online Registration System that is used to capture the grades. Already, I have received reports that there are some difficulties…it is not unusual, because at this time when we have high traffic, these challenges develop,” he said.

Urging administrators to make contact as soon as they experience those problems, he added that, “in consultation with CXC, as well as our local people here on the ground, we’ll try to have those issues resolved so that grades could be issued and we reach the deadlines appointed by CXC.”

The registrar also reminded that while the CXC exams – both at the CAPE and CSEC level – usually consisted of three papers: the paper two (long-answer paper), paper one (multiple choice) and the SBA component, “under the circumstances now, the exams have been reconstructed, to consist of only two components, the multiple choice and the SBA.”

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