CXC to conduct “independent” review but insists on established rules

Last Updated on Monday, 28 September 2020, 20:50 by Denis Chabrol

Sir Hilary Beckles

Chairman of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), Sir Hilary Beckles on Monday acknowledged that some “issues” would have to be addressed quickly concerning the region-wide controversy over grades for the July 2020 examinations, but he again insisted that the regional examining body would only respond to requests for  reviews.

“It was anticipated that given these specific challenges a period of review and  possible revisions would follow, consistent with the regulations of the Council. It has been  agreed, therefore, that an Independent Review Team will shortly begin this work and present a  report for discussion with relevant stakeholders.,” he said.

The CXC Chairman said at the same time he was satisfied that Ministers have received explanations for the examining body’s positions in light of the public discourse.

“It is understood that while there might be policy and technical issues to be addressed immediately, the maintenance of public trust going forward is paramount,” Sir Hilary said in a statement. He said the Registrar, Dr Wayne Wesley, and his team have met with distinguished regional Ministers of Education in order to discuss these concerns and identify the underlying causes with a view to moving forward and providing clarity to our stakeholders and enhanced support.

Guyana’s Education Minister Priya Manickchand did not immediately respond to questions about whether she was satisfied with discussions she and other ministers have held with the CXC Registrar.

The CXC Chairman said talks would continue with the Ministries of Education, but he echoed the position that the regional examination body has taken ever since region-wide concerns were raised- only official reports would be investigated.  “There will be ongoing dialogue with regional Ministries of Education based upon the official gathering of data relevant to all ventilated concerns. Each and every formally reported case will be reviewed and where remedies are required they will be applied,” he said.

At the same time, he says public trust in CXC going forward is very important.

Students in Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago have complained bitterly that their grades for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination are poorer than expected due to a number of alleged discrepancies.

The CXC Chairman praised his management for being impressive in the delivery of the July 2020 regional  examinations within the context of the COVID-19 logistics nightmare, and crippling global doubt  about revised examinations systems and procedures. “I commend the team at CXC for their  effort to serve the best they can – the people of our region,” he added.