Saturday 5 December, 2020

Guyana to engage CXC on possible grade changes for students

The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) continues to be on the receiving end of complaints, this time from Guyana.

The country states it is registering vehemently with the CXC its dissatisfaction with the apparent poor grading of students at the 2020 CSEC and CAPE examinations.

In a statement, the Ministry of Education says it is concerned that there seems to be discrepancies with the grades that were awarded in particular subject areas to students across the country.  

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Minister of Education Priya Manickchand has since spoken to the Registrar of CXC and has expressed her concerns.  

That conversation will be followed up by a letter addressing the many complaints and a demand to have them addressed. 

The complaints by students, parents and teachers, backed by statistics range from: 

  • Discrepancies in teachers’ projected grades and CXC final awards being significant in the results of many students. 

  • Maximum SBA scores having been attained by students who believe strongly that they answered the multiple-choice questions (many of which were questions repeated from previous years) correctly and yet they received poor grades.  

  • Students of schools that have been historically performing optimally in these examinations have been awarded poor grades at this year’s CSEC and CAPE results which represent a stark deviation from the norm. Nothing else in those schools have changed including the teachers. 

  • The same students in year one CAPE who did excellently, scored poorly in year two. 

  • Schools which submitted all of the SBAs within the timeframe and received confirmation emails from CXC and received an ungraded result in some subject areas. 

  • There were unacceptable grades for Integrated Mathematics, Pure Maths papers one and two and Caribbean Studies at many schools. 

The ministry says students in Guyana and across the region are currently traumatised and disenchanted, something which it cannot accept.  

It says it will leave no stone unturned and will pursue solutions with CXC until there is an acceptable resolution to the matter.  

Meanwhile, the Bishops’ High School Old Students’ Association in Guyana has also added its call for a review of what it says are inconsistencies in 2020’s CSEC/CAPE results.  

The association is of the firm belief that the grades do not accurately reflect the true and fair performance of the institution's students.  

It joins the clarion call for CXC to issue a statement clearly addressing its evaluation methodology for the award of grades and commit to an immediate and thorough review of the results issued on September 22 with no cost attached.  

The association is reminding CXC that as a collective Caribbean region, students concerns were expressed prior to the hosting of these examinations.  

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