Oct 19, 2020 News
– body to moderate all SBAs
Kaieteur News – Starting next year, the Barbados-based Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) says the body will be conducting 100 percent moderation of all School Based Assessments (SBAs) based on an independent review of the administration of the July/August 2020 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency examinations.
This was revealed on Sunday during a news conference by CXC Registrar Dr. Wayne Wesley.
“Certainly, the lessons and information that would have been gleaned from this year’s exercise will be pointing towards us doing and continuing to administer a 100 percent requirement for SBA submission for moderation to ensure that we protect the integrity and keep the level and standard of our SBA high,” he said, according to a report of Barbados Today.
The final report is expected to be made public tomorrow, following a meeting between CXC and Caribbean ministers of education today.
According to the chairman of CXC’s Board, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, the reviews will be conducted at US$15 each — half the cost — and if students are found to deserve higher grades, they would get a full refund.
The CXC Registrar said that up to Sunday, there have been 2,353 requests for reviews of CAPE results and 2,550 requests for CSEC results.
Already, he said the number of reviews for “ungraded” in all territories amounted to less than one percent of the number of people affected.
Professor Beckles said CXC is expected to put in place a system for students to deal directly with the regional examining body, not necessarily with local registrars and the ministry of education. Professor Beckles said top priority would be given to students enrolled to enter universities in and out of the Caribbean.
Usually, CXC marks a sample of the SBAs, but this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, almost 100 percent was moderated from across the Caribbean, a move that uncovered leniency by teachers as opposed to a first mark and there would be a review mark.
“The report has picked up that there was disparity in terms of expectation, prediction and what actually was the final outcome,” said Beckles, who added that “the decision to go for a more comprehensive and complete moderation of the SBAs this year strengthened and made more robust the examining system and they were impressed with that and believe that it’s a standard and a quality that should be supported going forward.”
According to Beckles, in the Barbados Today report, the review found that students are being given false expectations about their performances and so there would be need for improved communication in the submission of grades, including workshops, with teachers. He also urged Caribbean people to guard against the “culture of predictability” in examinations, even as he noted that the exam system was modified, there was a more robust and comprehensive moderation of the SBAs and the multiple choice structure might not permitted practice and experience. “We can understand how maybe this year more than previous years, how the gap for many people between the predicted outcome and the actual could have been of greater concern to a large number of people,” he said.
The CXC Registrar said grades provided to students would not necessarily be final as that is the responsibility of the regional examining board based on the moderation standards.
CXC plans to conduct an audit review of its operations and governance principles for the organisation that offered exams to 20 countries including those that are not members of the 15-nation Caribbean Community (Caricom).
CXC came under scrutiny after the results came out.
Several Caribbean nations, including Guyana, filed complaints with CXC, making it clear that something was wrong with the grades.
This was after both teachers and students alike raised concerns.
This past week, the Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, and senior officials engaged CXC.
The latest engagement was on Wednesday and dealt with the release of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) results.
“The session was interactive as the Registrar sought to explain the reasons for the poor performance of some of the students. Clarification was sought on the weighting of the examination papers, and how the grades from the Paper One (1) and the School-Based Assessment (SBA) were applied to the subject profiles, and therefore affected the overall composite score and the final grade assigned.”
The ministry said that even after profound queries, it remained unclear about why students appeared to have performed poorer on paper one of various exams.
“It is important to note that as a result of the intervention of the Honourable Minister of Education and team, 14 schools that had ungraded results have since received acceptable grades while MoE awaits the grades of other outstanding schools. The Ministry was assured that most queries would be answered within two weeks.”
The MoE team said they were adamant that CXC should not have changed the format of the examination abruptly and that one cannot negate the fact that students may have been thrown off with the sudden change.
“It should be noted also that some errors occurred on the part of the schools which contributed to the dilemma of the students. For example, in some cases, no SBAs submissions were made, schools submitted SBAs scores late, and the cover pages for SBAs were missing.”
Going forward, the Ministry of Education said it intends to closely monitor the SBA process through the development of a more rigid and elaborate protocol for the submission of same to CXC.
“Teachers will also be trained in the process of uploading SBAs scores which will be further examined by the Superintendent of Examinations before the final submission is made to CXC.
Training sessions will also be done with teachers with the intent of apprising them of the type of rating students should receive in the various profiles in order to receive the best grades in the various subject areas.”
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