EYEWITNESS: That time again… for high school results

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Yep…it’s that time of the year again…somewhat delayed, but better late than never, no? Your Eyewitness, of course, is talking about the tantalising bit of news we received from a CXC team that flew in just to bring our CSEC and CAPE results. Now, this is an unprecedented event…to bring our results personally. And during an alarming upsurge in COVID infections that made the Americans give us a Level 4 travel rating – meaning, STAY AWAY!! And that’s why it’s “tantalising” – not because of the actual results.

And as far as the latter is concerned, all we got were some comparative statistics on how our kids did overall compared to their peers in the 13 English-speaking Caricom states. Remember that Haiti and Suriname have their own exams in French and Dutch respectively?? So, the “scoop” is that, of the 33 subjects offered by CXC, Guyana topped in 20 of them. Well, who’d quarrel with that? And the answer to that question was hinted at by Minister of Education, Manickchand, and CXC Registrar and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Wayne Wesley, when they broached the ticklish question of the grading of the SBAs, which caused so much confusion (and bitterness) last year!

By the time you read this, the actual results in terms of how individual students performed would have been released. But, in reality, they wouldn’t be the ACTUAL results, because some would still have some SBA issues!! And this explains the emergency visit of the CXC officials – it was to smooth what would certainly be some ruffled feathers here!! Hell hath no fury like students scorned (and their parents!) about their grades. These, after all, pretty much determine their future in the qualification rat race! Some of the kids from Barbados have an outstanding lawsuit against the entire CXC, which threatens their existence. Ouch!!

But what your Eyewitness really wants to talk about is the relevance of the CXC exams for modern times. They still focus on rote learning, which came down to us from the 19th century. But, thank God, we’ve moved into an era where information is literally at our fingertips. We just have to ask our smartphones for answers on “facts”. What we now need is more critical thinking in addition to breaking down the barriers between subjects that silos knowledge and prevent us having holistic views on the world out there.

Finland, for instance, has introduced a way of teaching that’s called “Phenomenon Based Learning” (PBL). A particular topic is taught by teachers from all the disciplines – arts, humanities, science etc – so that the student gets a well-rounded synthesis.

Which is what he needs in the real world!

…with PNC’s overreach

Well, it looks like this iteration of the PPP won’t make the mistake Jagan made when he entered office after 28 long years of PNC skulduggery. Whether or not he’d agreed with the midwives of the return of free and fair elections, Jagan refused to press charges. He wanted to practise “no recriminations, no victimisation”. But he forgot that pursuing justice against the PNC for all their criminal actions couldn’t be “recrimination or victimisation!! Justice is blind!!

The upshot was the PNC under Desmond Hoyte retained all their “spunks,” and went after the PPP tooth and nail. And when that didn’t work…started their violent slow fyaah, mo fyaah campaign. But, once bitten, twice shy. And this goes around, the PPP’s bringing charges firstly against all those who tried to rig the elections, and now against those who raped the state’s coffers. The first of the latter bunch is former Finance Minister Winston Jordan of “War Break” fame.
He went for the Shaggy defence: “Wasn’t me!!” Right!!

…for sugar’s performance

The law is that Government corporations like GuySuCo have to submit annual reports to Parliament on their performance – which includes the “tons cane/tons sugar” ratio.

Have these reports been submitted during the PNC’s 5 years and the PPP’s first?