By Theresa Goodwin
A high school teacher is suggesting that the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC), should have stuck with the original mid-June examination dates it had announced earlier this year, instead of extending the sittings by a further two weeks.
The Barbados-based institution announced last week that exams for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) will be administered from June 28 in order to give students more time to prepare.
The dates for the submission of Deferrals and School Based Assessments (SBAs) have also been extended, taking into consideration the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the volcanic eruptions in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Results for the examinations are expected to be made available during the last week of September or the first week in October, 2021.
However, the educator, Zahra Airall said while she sympathises with other countries within the region that are encountering difficulties, students in Antigua and Barbuda are exhausted and de-motivated.
She stated that the only positive takeaway would be the fact that students would get more time to prepare; however, some of them may not even do so.
“A few students have even voiced the concern that they are tired of people speaking for them instead of speaking with them to find out what would be the best course of action. It is also not fair to a lot of stakeholders who are not in a vulnerable situation,” Airall said.
Regarding how the situation has impacted her and other teachers, she explained: “I need a break, I really need a break [and] I am looking at some of my co-workers … who are sitting in their cars longer each morning, because they just need a break”.
Airall is also of the strong belief that the regional organisation does not respect the time and efforts of educators and others, pointing to the CXC’s inability to settle a longstanding issue for teachers to be paid for marking SBAs.
Meanwhile, the local CXC Registrar, Myrick Smith, who also participated in the Big Issues discussion on Sunday, said while he regards the concerns of all within the education sector, the announcements made by CXC are in line with recommendations made by regional governments.
“CXC is governed by the Council for Human and Social Development, COHSOD, and the decisions are the collective decisions of the governments of the region. We are talking about several independent countries with different education systems that CXC is administering examinations for. There will always be challenges because the situation will vary,” Smith said.