CXC firm on July for CSEC, CAPE
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Dr. Wayne Wesley, the Registrar and CEO of Caribbean Examination Council
Dr. Wayne Wesley, the Registrar and CEO of Caribbean Examination Council

…warns against creating uncertainty in minds of students

STANDING firm with its decision to host the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) in July, the Barbados-based Caribbean Examination Council stated that there will be no further postponement of the exams since the decision was finalised by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

During a press conference via zoom with reporters, Dr. Wayne Wesley, the Registrar and CEO of Caribbean Examination Council, on Thursday, disclosed that council’s decision is final and there is no need to create uncertainty about the date.

“The decision from CARICOM is clear is there is a date for the examinations now and this is not a time to create any level of uncertainty with the students or candidates who are being prepared, the examinations are July,” Dr. Wesley emphasised.

Nevertheless, Dr. Wesley reassured that the examinations will be admitted via E-paper (electronic paper) as well as paper-based to candidates who may not have access to the internet or any other form of technology. “As it relates to technology, where the infrastructure challenges are insurmountable, then those persons will have access to the paper-based modality to write their examinations so no one will be disadvantaged if they do not have the E-testing capabilities,” he stated.

ELECTRONIC TESTING
During the briefing, the council revealed that the electronic testing is nothing new and has been used by the council on several occasions to administer examinations, however, it has been modified to accommodate the current situation.

The council further stated that the system is secure and have systems in place to ensure the integrity of the paper. “We have all the systems in place to facilitate and to ensure that we do not have any cheating incidents.”

Additionally, to accommodate all scenarios, the council reassured in cases of power outages or any other form of technical difficulties and emergencies the paper-based test will be on stand for students.

The council also added that candidates and teachers alike can access a preview or an example of a model E-testing paper on the examination’s website.
Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus, the council had postponed the exams which were originally set for May/June to a later date. The council revealed that the inaugural paper will not be administrated, and the grades will be determined by the candidates school-based assessments (SBA’s) and their performances on paper ones.

The Caribbean Examination Council revealed on Thursday that the integrity of the CSEC and CAPE examinations remains intact. This follows the recent decision by the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) to hold the exams in July. The Guyana Chronicle reported on Thursday that Guyana and at least three other countries, including Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica, have raised concerns about the omission of the Paper Two component of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) this year, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Jamaica Gleaner reported on Thursday that earlier this week, Minister with responsibility for Education, Karl Samuda, said that Jamaica could not endorse the decision of its CARICOM partners, owing to the impact that COVID-19 has had on the education sector locally. The Jamaica Cabinet is to deliberate on the matter and arrive at a position.
At a media briefing this afternoon, CXC registrar Dr. Wayne Wesley said he was unable to speak on the stance taken by the Jamaica Government.

When asked about what arrangements could be made for territories which have stated their inability to meet the July date, Wesley said: “All of those concerns would have been taken into consideration and where countries would have indicated serious challenges as it relates to COVID-19, then of course bi-lateral talks can be held as indicated in the press release from COHSOD,” the registrar explained. Further, he said countries have “sovereign authority” to determine their own course of action.

The registrar noted that exams will be held in accordance with national health protocols on social distancing, sanitisation and the wearing of masks. A provisional timetable for the July exam is available on the council’s website.

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