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by Leon Norville
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Local Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) registrar Myrick Smith said several candidates out of the 2,000 registered in Antigua and Barbuda for the June 2021 examination sitting are opting to sit the regional exams in 2022.

This, he said, is mainly because of time lost during the Covid-19 pandemic, disruption to school schedules and the need to complete school-based assessments (SBAs) and the CXC examination syllabus.

He also pointed out that for the first time in the history of the examinations, the examining body implemented a deferral period to allow students registered for the examination, especially in the countries significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic like Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica, the option to not sit them in the upcoming May-June period for the aforementioned reasons.

Smith said the examining body extended the deferral deadline for candidates across the region from the initial date of May 1 to May 14 and again for an additional 10 days until May 24. Speaking to the number of students in Antigua and Barbuda who have chosen to not sit the examinations this year, he said, “I can say at this stage that the numbers are pretty significant.”

He said, “a number of schools have indicated that they are behind, so they have extended the deadline for them to submit SBAs to May 31.”

Last year, the regional examinations council decided to adjust the exam considering the Covid-19 pandemic which included the SBAs and paper one for students, and papers one and three for private candidates.

Initially, CXC planned to resort to the exams’ standard format which is a paper one and two including SBAs for student candidates, and papers one, two and three for private candidates. However, following recommendations from governance committees of CXC, which are comprised of regional government representatives, they are reviewing the recommendations on the regional examination strategy that emanated from these consultations at Caricom’s Council of Human and Social Development (COHSOD) session on May 12.

The governing council of CXC will meet to discuss and approve final examinations and procedures for this year’s sitting today.