Minister of Education Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly said on Wednesday that the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) has not made a final decision on changes to the number of practical school-based assessment (SBA) assignments for the 2021 CXC exams.
Newsday received reports that CXC had amended the SBAs for science subjects, so that the number for each subject had been reduced by more than half.
CXC updated its Handbook for Students on the treatment of syllabuses and the SBA for administration of 2021 examinations in December.
It said it will not reduce the syllabus coverage for any of the subjects offered and no changes to the SBAs, as defined in the syllabus, would be made as a result of covid19.
It said, “Any change to the programme of studies at any level offered by the CXC can prove disadvantageous to our stakeholders and impact the CXCs ability to compare results across years in terms of equivalence of certification.”
A CXC syllabus offered in 2020 to 2021 should represent the same scope of coverage as previous or subsequent years, it felt.
“Therefore, CXC cannot take the decision to reduce syllabus coverage without compromising the value of the certification.”
The handbook does, however, recommend changes to the SBA requirements, with a reduction in the number of assignments in subjects that require labs and practicals and a “relaxation of some rules.”
It also recommends changes to the approach to the implementation of the SBA for subjects that require fieldwork, sporting activities, performance, or other practical assignments.
“Alternat(iv)e approaches to the completion of SBA are encouraged/recommended,” it said.
On Wednesday, Newsday was made aware of at least one school that had already told students and parents the number of science SBAs would be reduced.