By Carlena Knight
Despite the notion that there was some significant advantage for students who wrote last year’s exams, local Registrar for the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) Myrick Smith is dismissing those claims.
Speaking on state media Thursday evening, Smith disclosed that when compared to those of 2020, there was “not a significant difference” in the 2021 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) results
“The stats show that there are improved performances in some subject areas and that the overall performance was pretty much on par with 2020; and let me say that these are just preliminary results and so when I did this first analysis, there was a particular school — and there might be more than one school — where all the results were not in. So, if I were to redo the stats again it might show that there might even be an improved performance in 2021. So, to answer your question, no, I do not think that it made a significant difference looking at the stats,” Smith explained.
Director of Education Clare Browne also weighed in on the matter saying that the results in fact showed similar performances in 2020 and 2021.
“When CXC compared 2020 to 2019 and 2018, the students performed similarly. So, the abbreviated format did not affect in any major way. It was more in people’s minds that ‘okay, because the children were not allowed to do the Paper Two, they ended up with the grades they got’. But when CXC looked at and analysed 2018, 2019 and 2020, the students performed similarly and when you look in Antigua how the students performed for 2021, comparing it with 2020 in most of the subject areas, they performed similarly,” Browne added.
Last year, CXC made the decision to only administer two papers, the short paper or multiple choice — Paper One, and Paper Three — the school-based aassessment (SBA), temporarily omitting the long paper or Paper Two due to the challenges with the Covid-19 pandemic and the regular closing and reopening of schools in several Caribbean countries.
That decision in the end was met with a lot of controversy, as many believed the students were short-changed of the opportunity to garner as many marks as possible to pass subjects.
Protests had in fact erupted in September last year in several Caribbean countries when CSEC and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) students received what they believed to be unfair grades.
It was because of those reasons and more that the regional examinations body reverted to its original format for this year.