Sep 25, 2020 News
– Queen’s College and The Bishops’ High School unify to protest
The Ministry of Education has expressed dissatisfaction with the grades some students received in certain subject areas at the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE). They have since posed questions regarding the matter to the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) demanding a re-grading of the examinations.
The Ministry yesterday stated that Priya Manickchand, Minister of Education has reached out to the Registrar of CXC raising concerns over the poor grading system and discrepancies highlighted by many teachers, parents, and students all across Guyana. Ministries of Education in countries like Antigua and Barbuda, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and St. Lucia have also made a call for an urgent probe into the results.
“Students in Guyana and across the region,” the Ministry said in their release, “are currently traumatized and disenchanted, something we cannot accept. This Ministry of Education will leave no stone unturned and will pursue solutions with CXC until there is an acceptable resolution to the matter. We are still receiving more complaints and gathering information. The Minister of Education is going to aggressively pursue this matter with CXC in the best interest of the nation’s children.”
They stated that the complaints lodged included two main issues: discrepancies in the teacher’s projected grades and the final grades CXC allocated to students, describing it as significant; students would have secured the maximum score for School-Based Assessments (SBAs) and would have
answered questions from the multiple-choice papers (questions that would have been administered in previous years) yet many of them received low grades even though they answered those questions correctly and had a perfect SBA score. Schools expressed that they would have submitted their student’s SBAs way before the deadline, yet some students received ungraded results. CXC would have also sent out confirmation emails, clearly stating that they have received these SBAs. Another issue highlighted was that students who would have excelled in their year one CAPE scored low grades in year two.
The Ministry also lamented that there were “unacceptable” grades for the Integrated Mathematics and Pure Mathematics at many schools. Additionally, they highlighted those top-performing schools that would usually see high pass rates for these examinations recorded students receiving significantly lower grades than the school’s standard.
Yesterday, students of Queen’s College and The Bishops’ High School joined in solidarity to demand answers for the conflicting results received. A press conference was held in the Queen’s College Compound, where members of the Parents Teachers Association (PTA), Alumni, and students voiced their deep disappointment and called for better to be done. Internal Examinations Coordinator and teacher at Queen’s College, Samantha Liverpool stated that the school pays over $15 million to CXC annually. Liverpool maintained that since monies are being paid to CXC, it is only fair that they get good service.
“When I look at a student who would have gained over 95 percent in an SBA (School-Based Assessment), looking at a paper where over 90 percent of the questions came back, please don’t tell me a Queen’s College student failed that exam. Our students at the College are accustomed to very challenging examinations and they all can attest to that. They believe that our exam here is two times harder than the exam they receive externally and we have proven that for many years,” Liverpool said.
The principal of the school, Ms. Jackie Benn stated that they will be taking all necessary legal action if CXC does not bend. She noted that the school will petition through the Ministry of Education and if they are not satisfied, they may very well withdraw from CXC and use other examination boards.
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