Minister of Education Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly says 118 CAPE and CSEC queries have been submitted to the ministry by TT students to be sent to the Caribbean Examinations Council.
There has been a wave of disquiet from students, their parents and teachers throughout the region about the results of the exams with many calling for a review of the marking scheme.
Gadsby-Dolly said 66 CSEC and 52 CAPE queries were submitted. She also said 14 letters were collected from schools and one from a student. The number of CSEC queries collected by schools were 13 and six for CAPE.
The number of schools which received “ungraded” CAPE results is 13 and five for CSEC.
President of the Secondary Schools Principals’ Association Ronald Mootoo said principals were pleased with the minister’s response to the complaints.
“All I wish to do is thank the minister for being proactive in the situation. She is new in the ministry, but she seems to grasp the urgency of the matter, and I think she is doing the right thing in the eyes of our students.”
CXC held a virtual meeting with various principals’ associations on Wednesday night to discuss pressure on the council to re-mark the exams.
Mootoo said the meeting was cordial and informative and he is confident the council is working to have the issue rectified as soon as possible.
He said the minister and CXC have indicated all queries submitted to the ministry will be fast tracked. He said the registrar in Barbados confirmed receipt of the complaints and will be looking into them.
Mootoo said he believes the system is transparent.
“CXC is allowing candidates, teachers, everyone to question CXC with their preliminary grades. This is a wonderful thing CXC is doing. Yes, you must pay for it, but CXC is allowing you to query the grades. This is CXC's quality control mechanism.”
He said it is important to question CXC because these are high-stake exams which inform the students’ choice of universities. “CXC is appreciative of that, hence the query process.”
He also said he stands with students who think their grades are too low. “These are high-performing students. With all their preparations they were fully ready, so I empathise with them. But, that could only be addressed with direct querying of CXC.”
Parents and students have created several social media platforms to vent their concerns, which include details on the SBA moderation process and the weighting of exam components used to calculate the final composite scores of students.
Mootoo said the independent investigative committee put together by CXC is not looking into the grades, but rather CXC’s policy. He said the re-evaluation of grades is a process that occurs between the student and CXC.
“CXC could only work with evidential complaints. If someone said there is a discrepancy with their grades, they must present that to CXC. Whatever the concerns are must be evident.”