The School Based Assessment (SBA) scores of 60 candidates from one school were this year cancelled by the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC). This disclosure was made by Pro-Registrar, Mr Glenroy Cumberbatch, who was at the time responding to a question during a CXC hosted press conference at the Pegasus Hotel yesterday.
Although Cumberbatch admitted that the move was linked to unscrupulous activities, he stopped short of naming the territory in which the action was carried out.
“If I say I don’t remember I would be telling a lie,” said the Pro-Registrar, whose remarks were supported by Assistant Registrar, Cleveland Sam, who insisted that “we are not in the business of naming and shaming.”
According to CXC Registrar, Dr Didadcus Jules, there are a number of measures in place to closely monitor SBAs submitted.
Cumberbatch however, emphasised that “any measures that we put in place cannot replace morality and good ethical behaviour, so that is where we have to start. We have to start with people understanding that we all have to do what is right.”
He said that the value of doing an SBA is tremendous from the point of view that it allows teachers to have the opportunity to constantly evaluate the work of the student and give credit for what he/she does in the classroom.
He explained that the result that is obtained is not merely realised from one or two days’ assessment but rather over the period of in-class session. “Everything that you did over a period of one or two years will have to be accounted for within those two days (of assessments),” said Cumberbatch who underscored that it is expected that students would improve with constant feedback from teachers.
And since the teachers are the first assessors of candidates’ SBAs, the Pro-Registrar noted that they are in fact the ones who help to determine the authenticity of the work presented. “They give a score pass it on, and somebody else in the school, either the Head of Department or Principal, sign it off to say this is the work of the person…But more and more teachers are saying to us I haven’t seen this work before, it’s the first time I’m seeing it and it is not in keeping with the kind of work that the child does within the classroom,” asserted Cumberbatch.
This, according to him, can easily arouse the suspicion of CXC. He added that once scores are entered into the CXC system, moves are made by the examining body to randomly select names of candidates to supply samples of their work.
There have even been occasions, Cumberbatch recalled, when a request was made for the SBAs of candidates from particular centres to be reviewed with a view to ensuring that they match what was entered into the system.
Moreover, on an annual basis there are candidates whose scores are cancelled because a review of their work did not match what was submitted to CXC or there are some work that are similar in presentation either in the present year or in the past.
However, when there is evidence to show that schools are involved in such activities, Cumberbatch said that CXC has the authority to cancel all the scores for the associated centres.
“It is incumbent on parents, on the students themselves on everybody to ensure that the SBAs are administered in the way that they should be administered as well as the Ministry to avoid such a great embarrassment,” he noted.
The press conference yesterday was intended to mark the close of the Council’s 45th Meeting which according to the CXC officials was successful in plotting the way forward in terms of achieving necessary change to bring about positive changes in Caribbean education.
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