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T&T Education Minister Promises To Address CXC/ CAPE Concerns

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — Trinidad and Tobago’s Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly has sought to assure students and parents who have expressed concern over the results of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) examinations, that all of the required steps to ensure that the issue is adequately addressed, will be taken.

The minister made the commitment as thousands of students across the twin island republic have expressed displeasure with their results – with some noting inconsistencies in their grades and profiles.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the education minister said she has personally spoken to the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) on the matter.

She noted that the issue is causing distress, especially for the students involved who are already stressed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, Gadsby-Dolly said it is necessary to balance the desire for students to be fairly treated with recognition of the fact that it is critical for queries of this nature to be dealt with through approved and well-defined channels if the integrity of the body that the majority of citizens in the Caribbean region use for certification is to be maintained.

At least four petitions have been created to demand a review of grades by CXC.

The education minister said while no institution can reasonably use that as a basis for review of all grades, it raises awareness of the matter.

“Certainly, many persons can and will sign an online petition once they disagree with an assigned grade. This petition is circling the region; in Trinidad and Tobago over 23,000 candidates sat CXC exams, in Jamaica, over 60,000- that equates to over 300,000 subject entries that can be queried in those 2 countries alone, with statistics from Barbados, Guyana etc not being quoted here. The online regional petition gathering 12,000 signatures then, can be understood contextually.”

“Though no institution can reasonably use that as a basis for review of all grades — it does however raise awareness of the matter and indicate to CXC that this issue must be addressed to put to rest troubling questions and concerns that are shared across the region.”

Addressing the issue of SBA scores, the education minister explained that SBAs are scored by individual class teachers, and these scores are then submitted to CXC for moderation.

She also said what was submitted by the school may not be the actual score recorded by CXC for the student and used to determine their overall grade.

Gadsby-Dolly, who added that a statement by CXC is forthcoming, further assured that the ministry is following the issues surrounding the release of the CSEC and CAPE grades very carefully to ensure that this situation is properly resolved.

“We in T&T eagerly await their elucidation of the complex issues surrounding this matter, even as we advise schools and individuals to follow the established procedures to make the necessary queries. The MOE will take all required steps to ensure that this issue is adequately addressed.”

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