BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC)— The Barbados-based Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) today stood behind its preliminary results for its July-August exams that have caused widespread concerns across the region, but said it was open to review the challenges as presented by the relevant authorities across the region.
Chief executive officer and registrar, Dr Wayne Wesley, told a news conference that the regional examination body was satisfied with the results, “and I am quite sure you would also recognise the improved performance of students this year.
“We have to be very responsible that whatever we are responding to is something that we can verify. All of our data that we have reviewed, all the things that we have looked at, I am sure all our …systems are in place have not revealed what is being said.
“I am asking you to provide us with the information so that we can address them. Where ministries (of education) and local registrars have done so, we have addressed them,” Wesley told the virtual news conference.
Several Caribbean countries have expressed concerns at the results of this year’s examinations set by the CXC, with Jamaica and Barbados government ministers calling for investigations into the results of the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) where some students said they had received “ungraded” results.
“Several candidates received ungraded results due to an issue identified with incomplete SBA uploads and a glitch in CXC’s SBA uploads automated response system,” Grenada’s Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development, Religious Affairs and Information said in a statement.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, who has sought to assure students and parents who have expressed concern over the CSEC/CAPE results, said that all of the required steps to ensure that the issue is adequately addressed, will be taken.
The education minister said she has personally spoken to the CXC on the matter and that the issue is causing distress, especially for the students involved who are already stressed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today, one of Guyana’s leading secondary schools, Queen’s College, threatened legal action and possibly lobbying for withdrawal from the CXC.
“If CXC does not bend, we will petition – and we plan to do so through the Ministry of Education – to remove Guyana from the council from writing the CXC examination. There are other examination bodies and we can very well carry our business there,” Queen’s College principal Jackie Benn said.
But Wesley, flanked by two senior CXC officials, told reporters that CXC, which was founded in 1972 by regional governments, “was established to serve the Caribbean region and we are doing so under the auspices of the respective ministries of education across the region.
“At no time have we looked at trying to reduce those persons that we serve. We have always been reaching out and ensuring that we provide them with the service that they need. We would never condone any particular move that will see persons not wanting to accept or receive our services.
“But certainly as a region we are committed to serving the people and the development of the region,” the registrar said, telling reporters that CXC would have “received requests from several ministers and countries across the region and we are addressing them.
“We are responding to all requests we have received,” he said, before being asked whether or not he agreed there were anomalies
“No I can never agree to anomalies,” he said, insisting “there is a rigorous quality assurance mechanism process that is executed.
“That quality assurance mechanism ensures that there is detailed check of every single subject with a detailed report and as is customary with the end of our assessment process, that there are queries that will be made and that is why there is a window between preliminary results being released and final results being released. Those concerns that are raised we will treat with and provide the requisite responses,” Wesley said, reminding that the deadline for submitting queries and concerns is October 23.
He dismissed suggestions that the CXC has taken a bureaucratic approach to the concerns raised across the region by students and ministries of education officials, saying, “we have indicated to individuals where there are concerns that they need to raise it with us.
‘Any of the ministries of education, any of the ministers who would have contacted me and spoke to me, will attest to the fact that once the issue has been raised I will be making the necessary attempts to address those issues.
“So we have not taken any bureaucratic approach. I don’t know what would have given that impression, but certainly our approach is always one of listening and understanding the concerns and treating with those. All of those will have to be within a particular context, but we have not disregarded anyone who would have approached us and indicated that there is a concern,” he said.