National consultations underway as CXC exams set for July

Minister of Education, Michael Browne
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Over the next two days, education officials and school leaders will be meeting to discuss the outcome of last Friday’s emergency meeting regarding the regional CXC exams.

The main outcome of the virtual meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) was a decision for CSEC, CAPE or CCSLC students to sit their examinations in July.

Minister of Education Michael Browne, who is the current chair of COHSOD, said local consultations will now be held and headed by Director of Education Clare Browne to plan the way forward for the country. He says he will, however, intervene if necessary.

“We will do the national consultations based on the decisions that were taken regionally including mechanisms that need to be put in place primarily to ensure that our students are prepared in a safe environment, in a safe context, incorporating social distancing within the context to prepare our students for CXC and for CAPE in July,” he said.

As it relates to CSEC, COHSOD agreed to have the examinations administered via e-testing modality in countries that are equipped with the infrastructure. However, where the necessary infrastructure is a challenge, candidates will be able to sit paper exams.

For CAPE students, Unit 1 and other previous results will be accepted by UWI as matriculation for the next academic year.

 Browne also spoke on other matters that will be discussed during the national consultations.

“Between educators, both in the private and public sector, and working with the stakeholders, we are working to be able to get it right in this first process and then look to the lessons that are to be learnt. Not just from that exercise but from best practices that we would have seen overseas, factoring the recommendations of both CARPHA, PAHO, UNICEF and UNESCO, and then we inform our practices here working in collaboration with health officials,” he explained.

The phased reopening of schools across the country will also be discussed during the consultations.

Browne said secondary school students, mainly fifth formers, could be among the first to return.

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