Gov’t expresses concern for CXC’s reputation after major examination breach

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The Government of Antigua and Barbuda has aired its fears over the impact that a major examination regulation breach could have on the global reputation of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC).

After an invigilator in Trinidad and Tobago took the bold step of allowing students writing the 2019 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Mathematics examination to have an open book exam, the government has shared its concern about the debacle.

At the post-Cabinet press briefing yesterday, Information Minister Melford Nicholas said that if the issue is not rectified, the global reputation of the regional examination body will take a major hit.

Nicholas said that is particularly concerning “in the sense that if we do not handle it correctly— the collective [governments] from across CARICOM—it could do some harm to the reputation of the CXC process.”

Regional Education Ministers will have numerous questions for the examination body when they meet next week in Barbados to discuss the situation and the grading of students.

Any solutions discussed at the meeting will have major implications for Antigua and Barbuda’s education officials, including the local CXC Registrar Myrick Smith, who told our newsroom that recommendations, coming out of investigations, could be made to reduce the likelihood of any such breach occurring in Antigua and Barbuda.

One solution was offered through a petition, started by an individual going by the name of Trevor S., calling for the re-sit of the CSEC Math examinations for all students.

This petition, which has been circulating on social media, has already surpassed its first goal of 5,000 signatures and has set its sights on reaching 7,500 signatures. Up to press time, it had reached 5,452 signatures following the examination which was done on May 15..

According to regional newspapers, a representative from the Barbados-based institution said CXC will be considering the petition as one of the solutions to the crisis.

Minister Nicholas agreed with that idea, stating that “whenever they make a determination in terms of the outcome and if part of the curing system means that the exam has to be redone then we all have to address our minds to it.

“I don’t think at this stage that we could prognosticate, and we will have to await the engagement and I think they have to consider all those issues as well as the whole question of parity for students who did not have the open book,” he said.

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