Advocates for the re-mark of the Caribbean Examination Council’s (CXCs) 2020 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) and Caribbean Secondary Entrance Certificate (CSEC) examinations are continuing their efforts six months after grades were first released.
In a joint statement from student and parent advocates from Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Barbados, the group said they still have not received the justice they have been fighting for.
“March 22, 2021 marked six months since the release of CXCs 2020 exam grades which significantly disadvantaged so many children in Barbados and Caricom,” the group said.
“These children may have been a minority, but they are no less important than the majority, and they deserve adult advocacy and resolution.”
In September 2020, parents, students and teachers joined in protest against what they considered unfair grades.
The group said the CXC review process was largely a delay mechanism.
“The vast majority of those disadvantaged children saw no change to their grades. Less than 1.8 per cent and less than 0.6 per cent of CAPE and CSEC students’ reviews, respectively, resulted in grades upgraded.”
It said this demonstrates a flawed grading methodology and resulted in the same original flawed grade result.
It said the ordeal has significant implications for the credibility of CXC as a public examination body. “There have been festering symptoms for years that CXCs testing methodology was sub-optimal. The 2020 pandemic ripped the scab off this wound.”
It said if these flaws in CXC testing systems are not addressed, it will affect future students.
The group commended teachers in the region, many of whom they said were demoralised and their professionalism and integrity questioned after the grading of 2020s School Based Assessments (SBAs).
The group said its demands are the same as they were in September of last year. “We convincingly and comprehensively documented these deficiencies, aided by independent expert consultancy, in our regional coalition for CXC Exam Redress press conference (in December).”
The group is demanding the details of the 2020 grading methodology; upward revision of the grades of those adversely affected; evidence of remediation of CXCs quality control to ensure the upcoming 2021 exams do not have the same issues; and commitment to improved communication.