CXC aiming to reduce disqualification at upcoming exams
- no-cell-phone-policy to be fully enforced
Of the 225,000 candidates who participated in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Examination last year about 0.9 per cent (or just over 2,000 candidates) were disqualified for entering the examination room with a cellular phone.
This state of affairs has been amplified by Senior Assistant Registrar, Administration and Security, attached to the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC), Ms. Susan Giles, during a forum to enlighten students about the do’s and don’ts of the examination.
The televised programme was aired across the territories participating in the examination and has received air time on the local National Communication Network (NCN).
It is the view of Giles that the percentage of candidates, who were disqualified last year, is far too high, which is the primary reason efforts are being made to ensure that students adhere to the rules and regulations that govern participating in the exams.
“Once you step into the room you are subjected to examination conditions,” said Giles, who noted that “that is why you must not bring your cell phone that day that you have an exam…leave your cell phone at home,” she urged. “Our regulations are very clear. Anyone having a cell phone in the examination will be disqualified.”
Giles explained that even if a cell phone is turned off, students could be subjected to disqualification once the gadget is found in their possession. “If you bring it into the room with you and turn it off and think, ‘oh, well it’s off’ but then you forget you had set an alarm, the supervisor is going to take that phone, allow you to finish that exam then ask you to write a report…the supervisor will also write a report and send it to CXC…Once it is discovered that you have that cell phone, you are going to be disqualified from the examination whether it rings or alarms or not,” she asserted.
According to Assistant Registrar, Diane Medford, “we are stressing this because of the penalty…disqualification does not refer to the examination you are taking (at the time) it means you will not receive a grade for any of the subjects you are registered for…if you registered for nine subjects your grades will be cancelled for all. We want candidates to understand the gravity of the offence…” she opined.
Given the cellular dependence of some youths of today, Giles has recommended that on the day of exams candidates should “…play a game with yourself and see if you can go a day without your cell phone, leave it at home!”
Over the years, there have been no reports emanating from the local Ministry of Education that students were disqualified from the examinations for being in possession of cell phones.
The CSEC May/June examination officially started on April 13 last and is expected to culminate on June 12. This year, expectations are high, at least within the Ministry of Education, which has predicted ambitious improvements, particularly in the area of Mathematics and English, when the results of the CSEC exams are unveiled in a matter of months.