By Carlena Knight
Students across the region will find out by Wednesday what recommendations the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) will approve or forgo regarding the 2021 examinations and procedures.
In recent weeks, CXC officials have been engaged with Caricom’s Council of Human and Social Development (COHSOD), regional education ministers, other government officials and teachers on the conception and planning of the 2021 regional examinations.
In a statement issued over the weekend, the regional examination body said the governance committee has been in the process of reviewing these recommendations as just last Friday the CXC’s School Examinations Committee met.
Another meeting is also scheduled for today when the governing council of CXC will discuss and approve final examinations and procedures for 2021.
The organisation said a press release will be disseminated and a press conference held to update the public on these decisions “no later than Wednesday”.
Earlier this year, the Caribbean Teachers Union (CUT) objected to CXC’s decision to conduct the CSEC and CAPE examinations as “a full-blown exercise” this year as compared to last year where only a paper one or multiple-choice paper and the paper three or school-based assessments were done.
CUT, the umbrella organisation for teachers’ unions around the region, said CXC should “rationalise” the examinations to reflect the current educational environment, which has been undermined by the Covid-19 pandemic and volcanic activity in St Vincent.
CUT President Dr Garth Anderson also referred to the consultations which would have been done with ministers of education and CXC, saying they need to be pressured – along with CXC – to make decisions that take the plight of the teachers into greater consideration.
The regional body also requested a meeting with COHSOD and CXC, as well as education ministers from around the Caribbean, to discuss what is in the best interest of all concerned, primarily the students.
Following the statements made by the CUT president, CXC announced they would be making several adjustments for all exams.
The regional body declared that they would be reducing the SBA requirements by as much as 50 percent in some subjects and would share the broad topics to be assessed on paper two for CSEC and CAPE subjects with the ministries of education for distribution to all candidates on May 10 for subjects where such details are not already available in the syllabus.
Following extensive consultations with regional ministries of education, CXC also implemented a facility for candidates to defer sitting examinations and submitting SBAs until the January 2022 (CSEC) or the May/June 2022 (CAPE, CSEC and CCSLC) examinations cycle.