JENSEN LA VENDE and CAROL MATROO
EDUCATION MINISTER Anthony Garcia said he will investigate a second claim of mismanaging of students exams that was not submitted to the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC).
Some evening classes CSEC students spoke with Sunday Newsday saying they were informed that their paper three project, which was done in place of the school based assessment was not readable. The exam was submitted on June 1 when they sat their exam. The students were asked to resubmit the paper three projects on July 9 because the backup which was in possession of the Education Ministry was lost. Since the grades were received some 30 students have been shuffling between South East Port of Spain, where they attended evening classes for the Electronic Document Preparation and Management (EDPM) course and the Education Ministry seeking answers.
Yesterday, Garcia said it was the first he heard of the incident and would be looking into it when he gets in office tomorrow. He added that his ministry is “scrupulously careful” with all documents received by students that are to be passed on to CXC.
On Friday, Garcia and Chief Education Officer Harrilal Seecharan held a press conference to address concerns raised by a class at Rio Claro Secondary School after two of their school based assessment (SBA) assignments were not submitted and the students all received ungraded results. Seecharan said then they received a preliminary report last Monday from a school supervisor IV which indicated that both Principles of Business and Principles of Accounts SBAs were completed and the marks were uploaded. The report showed the other requirement following the submission of the marks where samples of students’ work needed to be uploaded to CXC for the moderation was not done, which was the reason for students being ungraded in the two subject areas.
He added that a copy of the SBA samples were lodged in the exams sections, and the Education Ministry was able to appeal to CXC to grade the SBAs and all students who were ungraded had their grades adjusted with the majority of them receiving passing grades.
“The responsibility of uploading is that of the school. We are following due process in terms of clearly establishing what transpired at the level of the school for the non submission and confirmation of those results and based on that we will decide how we proceed.
“The principal has the overall responsibility for the administration of the school and therefore there is that responsibility on the part of the principal it happened,” Seecharan said.
He added that if the teacher is deemed culpable then the teacher would be dealt with.
He said in some instances, because some of these submissions were online, there may be issues at schools where submissions may be uploaded but the confirmation was not done.
In the case of the evening classes students, their exams were placed on a thumb drive and sent directly to CXC, The students were informed a backup was kept at the ministry.
“Unfortunately CXC is unable to read the documents from your examinations they are claiming that the documents are corrupted. I am asking if you guys who still have your documents on your system to come to SEPoS today as early as possible so we can retrieve your exams. Please don’t edit documents as any document tampered with will be known by CXC.
“Those who don’t have it, I really don’t know what we will do I have to wait for a directive,” an email to the students read.
The students added that they have until September 3 to appeal and eight days later CXC will have to respond to them. They are hoping that the Education Ministry can act swiftly so that they can get their grades.
Speaking on Friday, Seecharan said there are clear guidelines which will continue to be reinforced. The curriculum division prepared a manual with the guidelines for schools to prevent what took place in Rio Claro. Garcia said all principals and teachers were aware of the protocol to follow, but admitted there was always the possibility of human error.