By Tamica Garnett
THREE of the 20 schools where students received “ungraded” results from the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) did not submit any of the students’ School Based Assessments (SBAs), and the Ministry of Education (MoE) is investigating to determine what can be done about this situation.
Speaking with this publication, Minister of Education Priya Manickchand, noted that from all indications, the situation arose because the teachers did not submit the SBAs even though they were completed and submitted by the students.
“Three of them will not be changed because they didn’t submit; they never submitted, so that leaves 17 [schools with “ungraded” results],” Minister Manickchand explained.
As it pertains to what can now be done for those students who have found themselves victims of circumstances, Minister Manickchand said investigations are continuing, and having the students rewrite the subjects is among the options.
“We’re still investigating it, but I think it’s that the teachers did not submit. We’re looking at it to see. The last thing we got from CXC is that they won’t be changing it, but we’re waiting to see if that could change,” the minister noted.
It is uncertain how many students have been affected by the situation.
The SBAs are an essential component of the CXC examinations, forming part of the score that determines a student’s overall grade in a subject. The SBA is completed prior to a student sitting the exam, and was implemented to take into account the work students would have done with their teachers throughout the school year.
Aside from the SBAs, the exams also involve a multiple-choice Paper One, and a Paper Two, which includes structured questions. Following CXC’s September 22, 2020 release of the results for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE), several students, schools and countries across the Caribbean had challenged the results.
The CXC had later convened an independent team to investigate the irregularities, and it was determined that limitations in the grading model, which affected grade distribution and disparities between grades awarded by the teacher and the moderator for the SBAs, may have contributed to lower than expected final grades.
In Guyana, a total of 20 public schools had made reports to the MoE about students who received “ungraded” results across 15 subject areas.
On Sunday, the minister updated that thus far approximately 14 schools have since seen their students receiving grades.
“For the other [schools] that got ungraded, they submitted incorrectly or incompletely, but they did submit, so CXC flexed a little bit and re-looked at those, but for the ones that never submitted, they’re saying [to the schools] we don’t know when you submitted. Did you do it afterwards? Did you do it on time? That’s not an unfair position for them to say so,” the minister noted.
It was reported that discrepancies in the SBA submissions included instances where partial information for the SBAs was submitted, while in some cases, there was a missing cover page or the absence of a score for the practical component of the SBA.
With regard to CSEC, the subjects that were initially ‘ungraded’ but have since been rectified are English A, Principles of Business, Office Administration, Economics, and Human and Social Biology, while for CAPE, grades were received for previously “ungraded” results in Geography Unit 1.
Aside from issues with “ungraded” results, several schools had also complained of lower than expected grades.
Last month, the ministry had disclosed that a total of 24 schools have requested reviews for unsatisfactory results across 20 subject areas for CSEC, and six schools submitted requests for review of unsatisfactory results in seven subject areas for CAPE.
The minister reiterated that the ministry is still awaiting the official declaration of the ongoing review of Guyana’s results before publicly releasing Guyana’s top performers in the examinations.
However, it is uncertain when CXC will be making its official declarations. The council was initially expected to declare official results on November 6; however, the body had extended its review and query requests period from October 23 to November 7. Official results cannot be declared until the queries and reviews have been completed.