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CXC accused of not being transparent

CXC accused of not being transparent
Dr Wayne Wesley

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The Caribbean Examinations Council has been accused of not being transparent when it comes to the weighting of the different components of the 2020 CAPE and CSEC examinations.

Because of the impact of COVID-19 on the region, the CXC decided on a modified approach to the exams this year. Under this modified approach, candidates were only required to complete school based or internal assessments and Paper I, a multiple choice paper.

No Paper II or long paper was included in this year’s examinations.

“The weighting of the examinations would have been according to the syllabus. The syllabus would have outlined the various weights associated with each component,” Dr Wayne Wesley, the registrar and CEO of CXC said in response to a question posed about the weighting of the modified examinations.

Wesley was speaking at a press conference via Zoom last Friday, September 25, where several people in attendance expressed that the registrar was not being transparent about the weighting.

“Why is there a lack of transparency when it comes to the new grading scheme? If it’s as fair as you say it is, shouldn’t it be communicated properly to all stakeholders of the Council?” one person who identified herself as Destiny Johnson, a student of Jamaica questioned.

Another person, who was identified as Leah Rattan in Zoom posted her question in the chat section of the conference; “What could be the cause of high SBA and IA marks and top performers achieving such a low grade? Knowing that the multiple choice were mostly repeated questions and students with a high academic track record got low grades, how can CXC make it more transparent to us of where this drop came from?”

Though there were several follow up questions in relation to the weighting of this year’s examination components, Wesley maintained that “it is as per the syllabus”.

He reiterated that the Council agreed to go with a modified approach, where Paper II would not be administered.

The CXC’s registrar also noted that the Council will provide its parent ministries with details in any particular area of concern, which will help to understand the nature of what went into the grading of examinations and why the results are the way they are.

“In the administration of our examination, there’s a rigourous quality assurance mechanism process that is executed.

hat quality assurance mechanism ensures that there is a detailed check of every single subject, with a detailed report and as is customary at the end of our assessment process that there are queries that will be made,” he said.

Students in the region have until October 23, 2020 to lodge queries or reviews concerning their CAPE and CSEC grades.

No payment is required from candidates seeking to query an absent or ungraded result. However, students who have been awarded a grade and have concerns about the grade achieved may submit a request for review, which attracts a fee.

Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, CXC’s chairman issued a statement regarding the July 2020 Regional examinations yesterday.

He acknowledged the concerns raised in the public domain about the procedures and systems used to compute student performance data, which were released last Tuesday, September 22.

“CXC is satisfied that Ministers have received explanations for its positions in light of the public discourse,” Beckles said in his statement. “It is understood that while there might be policy and technical issues to be addressed immediately, the maintenance of public trust going forward is paramount.”

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