ATTORNEY Darrell Allahar said he and partner Keith Scotland are yet to receive a response from the CXC registrar in Barbados on a pre-action protocol letter sent on behalf of students seeking a re-marking of their June 2020 CSEC and CAPE exams.
“We haven’t gotten the decency of a response,” said Allahar in a phone interview with Newsday on Friday. He said the legal team has heard about an independent review committee (being set up to revisit the marking criteria) but wants the council to be clear about who is doing it.
“If it is independent, who are the people hired to do it,” Allahar asked. He said many students are dependent on results to matriculate to university both local and abroad.
Allahar is also questioning what areas CXC plans to review. “What are the scales of reference? Is it merely to review the calculations? Most importantly do students still have to pay US$30? It makes no sense having a review if students must pay for it. That is just a waste of money for the students.”
He said the fact that the council has put together a committee suggests wrongdoing on its part. “If you’re having a review then it means you’re admitting that something may have gone wrong. It’s all very mysterious and we await to hear from them.”
Allahar and Scotland are representing the Holy Ghost Fathers and Dominican Sisters school boards, which manage several schools including Fatima College, St Mary’s College and Holy Name Convent.
Scotland said the team has received complaints from hundreds of students. On Thursday, Minister of Education Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly said her ministry received 118 queries from CSEC and CAPE students which were submitted to CXC.
One of the students pursuing legal action, who wished to remain anonymous, said students are unimpressed by the independent review committee, as they are said to be looking into CXC policy rather than the grades.
“Because of what happened this year, regardless of the review, we want to see our internal assessment marks and our multiple-choice papers. That’s the only way we will trust the results,” the student said.
A release from CXC on Friday stated that its chairman Professor Sir Hilary Beckles convened a team that will review the modified approach for administration of the July/August 2020 CSEC and CAPE examinations; the moderation process applied to the School-Based Assessment (SBA) for the July/August 2020 CSEC and CAPE exams, and the grading process for the said exams.
Chair of the review team is Professor Hazel Simmons-McDonald, Professor Emerita and retired Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Open Campus, The University of the West Indies.
Other members are Professor Andrew Downes, retired Pro Vice-Chancellor, Planning and Development, The University of the West Indies; Professor Francis De Lanoy, President of the University of Curacao; Harrilal Seecharan, retired Chief Education Officer in TT and Michael S. Browne, Minister of Education in Antigua and Barbuda and chair of the Caricom Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD). The team has to report its finding to Professor Beckles by Friday October 16.