The Caribbean Secondary Education Certification (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced
Proficiency Examination (CAPE) examinations set for May 11, 2015 have been rescheduled.
Moreover, the examinations scheduled for May 11 and May 12, 2015 will now be written by local candidates on June 15 and June 16, 2015 respectively. This means that local candidates will be sitting a number of examinations days after their Caribbean counterparts.
This announcement was made by Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, during a press conference at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD), Kingston, Georgetown, yesterday.
This move is one that was employed to counter concerns regarding the fact that the CXC examinations as well as General and Regional Elections were scheduled for the same date.
The Elections date has been viewed by many factions as a rather controversial one, but according to the Education Minister yesterday the state of affairs in her opinion is “a non-issue.”
This is in light of the fact that both the Minister and CXC’s Pro-Registrar, Glenroy Cumberbatch, are in agreement that the situation is not unique to Guyana.
According to Cumberbatch, there have been occasions in the past that CXC has had to reschedule examinations in a number of territories, undertakings he claimed have been done successfully.
He added that even outside of the Caribbean there are examining boards such as in the Philippines that have moved their examinations date because of elections. “This is a regular practice; it is not unusual at all,” added Cumberbatch.
The Education Minister interjected to assert that “this is not something done by CXC alone…We were wondering what the big hullabaloo was because we were working things out; give us some space to work out what we needed to do, which is what we have done here.”
“This is not in any way going to be disadvantageous to our children and it is going to allow for the democratic process of selecting a Government to take place smoothly…” added Manickchand.
The Minister during her deliberations yesterday pointed out that as part of its regular paper setting protocol, CXC prepares additional examinations in the same subject area. This will therefore translate to the Guyanese candidates at both CSEC and CAPE being tasked with writing parallel papers to their regional counterparts.
However, all examination papers will be equal in value and weight, Manickchand insisted yesterday. “CXC will mark all scripts and issue all results at the same time the CXC/CAPE results were originally scheduled to be delivered,” she added.
The intervention of CXC however, usually attracts a cost that Governments are expected to cover, the Pro-Registrar noted. Cumberbatch was however unable to give the cost that the Guyana Government will incur to shift the examination dates. “I don’t know the cost off hand, but what we will have to do is work it out, given that we have prepared papers already.
“What is involved in this one is to transfer additional papers to Guyana…what is the cost for that? We are going to be working on cost over the next few days and we are going to inform the Minister,” Cumberbatch said.
This will also mean that Guyana would have to stand all necessary costs to ensure the integrity of the examinations.
But perhaps neither elections tension nor the costs that Government will have to incur was really taken into consideration when a decision was made to change the dates for the CXC administered examinations that were slated for May 11, 2015.
In fact from all indications the Minister herself hadn’t an opportunity to dissuade the President from naming May 11 as Elections Day. She, in explaining the process, noted that the President is entitled to name a date for elections.
Manickchand said that the President’s naming of the date was influenced by the readiness of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM). And Manickchand added, “As far as I understand, all the dates that were given by GECOM that would be possible elections dates given that they themselves are bound by certain timelines…All the dates that they submitted were in the CXC period…
“It was inevitable that we would have faced this slight hurdle which we have crossed effectively.”
At her press conference Minister Manickchand said that her Ministry was cognizant of the general concerns regarding CSEC and CAPE being timetabled for the same date with the Elections.
She disclosed that her Ministry was always keen to ensure that examinations are conducted in a smooth and effective manner and was therefore in consultation with CXC and other stakeholders about what might be best for our candidates.
Moreover, several possible options that could be exercised were discussed and considered. And according to Manickchand, “At all times during the discussions and deliberations, the Ministry’s paramount consideration was the best interest of the candidates.”
Because of the change in the examination dates, the morning of June 15 will see candidates sitting the following CSEC subjects: Agricultural Science (Double Award)-Paper2; Agricultural Science (Single Award)-Paper 2 and Theatre Arts –Paper1. In the afternoon of June 15, the following CSEC subjects will be written: Electrical and Electronic Technology-Paper 1; Food and Nutrition – Paper2.
The CSEC examinations shifted to June 16 will include Home Economics: Management – Paper 2 and Technical Drawing-Paper 2 in the morning, and Electrical and Electronic Technology Paper 2 in the afternoon.
Meanwhile, CAPE subjects set for the morning of June 15 are Geometrical and Mechanical Engineering Drawing Unit 1 – Paper 2, History Unit 1 – Paper 2 and Art and Design unit 1 and 2 – Paper 2 and 3 while in the afternoon candidates will undertake the Communication Studies- Paper 2. The following morning CAPE candidates will sit French Unit 2 – Paper 2 and Environmental Science Unit 2-Paper 2 while in the afternoon they will be tasked with sitting Pure Mathematics Unit 1 – Paper 2.
It was disclosed, yesterday, that CXC will also officially inform the candidates about this change in timetabling even as the Education Ministry take all necessary steps to ensure all candidates are informed of the timetable change too, said Manickchand.
She also expressed gratitude to CXC yesterday stressing that “the Ministry of Education takes this opportunity to thank the Caribbean Examinations Council for being the good partner to the Ministry, Guyana and her people that this body has always been.”
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