CXC agrees to resolve issues surrounding exam results – Education Minister

Education Minister Priya Manickchand

The Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) has agreed to look into and resolve issues surrounding widespread concerns of the results it released for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE).

This is according to Minister of Education Priya Manickchand.

In a social media post, Manickchand said: “At a meeting I had with CXC today, that body agreed to: 1. Review the papers/work of schools pursuant to a request by the Ministry of Education. We will be making the request shortly and it will be supported by stats that give reasons for our concern. 2. Resolve the “ungraded” issue by grading the papers that were already sent to them or the Local Registrar.”

There has been major outrage over the results released by CXC, not just in Guyana, but all across the Caribbean.

Guyana’s leading secondary school, Queen’s College (QC), on Thursday, threatened to file an injunction against CXC to block the declaration of what it deems “fraudulent” results.

This was echoed on Thursday at a press conference where the school’s principal, Jackie Ralph, made it clear that she is not prepared to accept the inaccurate results released by the regional examination body, and intends to pursue the matter as far as seeking recourse at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s examinations did not consist of the traditional Paper Two. Instead, students were graded using Paper One and their School Based Assessments (SBAs). Despite this, students were still required to pay the fees usually charged for the normal examinations, consisting of Papers One and Two and Paper Three in some instances.

Ralph, who has been at the helm of the school for the past seven years, said she is distraught and has been having sleepless nights. She, nevertheless, stated that she will continue to engage her students, their parents, the rest of her colleagues, and Education Minister Manickchand with the view to having the many discrepancies and disparities in the grades resolved within the soonest possible time.

According to her, a total of 166 students sat CAPE, while 95 wrote CSEC. Thus far, she disclosed, some 121 students have submitted queries via a spreadsheet.

The results, she noted, were shocking, as it showed many students underperformed in subject areas in which they are known to excel, such as Geography, Social Studies, Integrated Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Pure Mathematics Units 1 and 2, and Additional Mathematics. As such, she is demanding that these grades be reviewed and regraded.

Guyana’s Education Minister had explained that the discrepancies observed with this year’s results include:

– Discrepancies in teachers’ projected grades and CXC final awards being significant in the results of many students.

– Maximum SBA scores having been attained by students who believe strongly that they answered the multiple-choice questions (many of which were questions repeated from previous years) correctly and yet they received poor grades.

– students of schools that have been historically performing optimally in these examinations have been awarded poor grades at this year’s CSEC and CAPE results which represent a stark deviation from the norm. Nothing else in those schools have changed including the teachers.

– the same students in year one CAPE who did excellently, scored poorly in year two.

– Schools which submitted all of the SBAs within the timeframe and received confirmation emails from CXC and received an ungraded result in some subject areas.

– There were unacceptable grades for Integrated Mathematics, Pure Maths papers one and two and Caribbean Studies at many schools

A petition is already circulating with candidates, parents and even teachers from all across the Caribbean calling for a review of the grades.