The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) has granted Guyana a US$20,000 reduction on the cost run to reschedule the sitting of Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE).
As such, government is now required to pay CXC approximately US$365,000 ($73 million) as opposed to the previous figure of approximately US$380,000 ($80 million.)
This is according to Minister of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon.
Earlier this year, after holding parliament in a state of prorogation for a protracted period of time, former president Donald Ramotar dissolved parliament and named May 11th as Election Day. This action as taken despite the fact that CXC had already designated this day as one of several on which CSEC and CAPE examinations were to be written.
Instead of finding an alternative day to hold the election, the administration engaged CXC on rescheduling the examinations planned for that day.
Last month, Education Minister, Rupert Roopnaraine, revealed to the public that this was done at an estimated cost of US$385,943 (approximately $80million). The former administration had, on several occasions, declined to publicly declare the cost associated with the rescheduling.
“The original sum was…US$385,000,” Harmon told reporters during a post-Cabinet press briefing today. He said that government had “sought a review from (CXC) and asked that they review the figure downwards” and that CXC agreed and “took off US$20,000 off the figure,” bringing the actual cost down to approximately US$365,000 ($73million)
The Ramotar administration had come in for stiff criticism by the then opposition A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance for Change (AFC).
The Guyana Trades Union (GTUC) had also condemned the move by government as selfish.
The former administration, however, had said that setting elections day on a day set aside for CSEC and CAPE examinations was unavoidable. Further, Former Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, had described the rescheduling as a minor set back.