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Secondary Schools in SVG querying CXC exams results

Secondary Schools in SVG querying CXC exams results

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The majority of the nation’s secondary schools are querying some of the results of this year’s Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) examinations.

Since the release of the results of the 2020 CXC/CSEC results last week, concerns were raised in the public domain with respect to the efficacy of procedures and systems used by CXC in its computation and declaration of student performance data.

“Querying is a regular procedure, but we have an area or two of concern, real, real concern and I have written to the relevant authorities stating my concerns,” Headmistress at the Girls’ High School (GHS) Michelle Beache told SEARCHLIGHT via telephone on Wednesday.

Beache said that the queries must be made as mistakes can affect students’ future and some of the results seem off.

“The students’ future is at stake and we have to do right by them so when students know how they usually perform and then they see their grades, there is always a question as to why it came back as it was.

She however noted that the initial pass rate is 97.88 per cent, an improvement over last year which was 96.91 per cent and she is confident that the pass rate may go up.

“Last year we queried and students’ grades were changed and this year it is just about the same number of queries, but of a different nature,” Beache said.

Antoinette Bess-Jardine, Principal at the St Joseph’s Convent Kingstown (SJCK) said queries are being done in relation to their biology and integrated science results.

The school had overall pass rate of 86.91% according to preliminary results from the Ministry of Education.

“Just generally, the biology and integrated science does not match and is not in keeping with what we are expecting. Nothing has changed. It’s the same teacher and basically we have had very good results and all of a sudden it has fallen considerably,” the SJCK principal stressed.

She added, “it is really off compared to the other years and from the teachers’ experience, the students who would have really passed, did not pass,” Bess-Jardine said.

She noted that from the school side, they had no issues with School Based Assessments (SBAs) but CXC is saying they did.

“Our SBAs were completed even before COVID so it is not an SBA issue for us. They are saying that some SBAs were not submitted. We had no SBA issues at all. SBAs were submitted so something is definitely wrong,” Bess-Jardine stressed.

Headmaster at the St Vincent Grammar School (SVGS) Alfred John said on Wednesday their queries are minimal with four or five students querying why they had ungraded results and a few others querying why they had grade twos instead of ones.

He said that the queries about the ungraded results will most likely turn out positive.

“If you have a student doing two business subjects they are required to do SBA for one of them and whatever mark they receive for one would also be counted for the other, so it is quite likely the mark was not transferred to the second subject and that will be easy to sort out,” John explained.

He noted also that he thinks there is at least one case where a student thought he deserved a grade one instead of a grade two and the basis of his argument is that another student who had the same profiles as him received a grade one.

“But what students have to take into consideration and this particular one might not have, is that when you get a grade A, there is a range of percentages that correspond with A. It does not mean that you get the same result.

“If two students get the same grade, it does not mean they got the same percentage…if they want to query, we facilitate them, “John told SEARCHLIGHT.

The SVGS has a pass rate at about 93.32 per cent, up from 91.5 per cent last year.

Because of the impact of COVID-19 on the region, CXC this year decided on a modified approach to the exams. This may be what caused some of the issues.

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.

Dr Wayne Wesley, the registrar and Chief Executive Officer (CDEO) of CXC told a press briefing last week 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.

Meanwhile, the discrepancies have caused outrage around the region and have sparked student protests in Barbados and Guyana, while Roman Catholic schools in Trinidad and Tobago wrote a legal letter to Chairman of CXC Sir Hilary Beckles calling for a special meeting to discuss their complaints.

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