THE EDITOR: Open letter to the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC).
I’m calling into question two things.
Firstly, the physical conditions under which e-marking takes place and whether or not our local students are marked fairly and accurately under these conditions.
Are scripts marked in an environment free of distractions and noise? Are they marked in a physical setting where the markers can focus all their attention in a quiet, relaxed atmosphere or are they marked in the presence of screaming children, irate spouses and barking dogs? Does CXC recommend ideal conditions for the marking of students’ scripts?
It is rumoured that scripts are marked at non-specific times – when teachers can “fit in” a few minutes in-between their normal schedule. It might be a case of quantity over quality in an effort to enhance payments from CXC.
The only losers here are students who may have been graded incorrectly because of the poor, insufficient and inadequate attention given to the marking process.
If CXC does not have any set standards for the physical environment with respect to the e-marking process, the resulting grades given to students would inherently be questionable.
The second issue that CXC needs to address is the method it has chosen to deal with queries about grades students would have obtained at both the CSEC and CAPE levels.
Presently, a “grade review” query costs 60 Barbadian dollars. The monetary value is inconsequential; the tragedy is how it is done. For the Bds$60 you pay, CXC just retallies the students’ marks. That’s it! CXC does not engage in remarking the students’ scripts. That is both horrifying and ridiculous.
Horrifying because students who would have worked hard and performed consistently during the preparation stages for their exams are shortchanged by inefficient marking. Ridiculous because they don’t have an avenue for justice.
I hope the Ministry of Education engages CXC in discussions to correct these injustices perpetuated on our local student body.