The Caribbean Examination Council has announced changes to the School-Based Assessments (SBAs) for this year’s June/July examination.
In a statement, the council said it made the changes considering the many challenges faced by students across the region, including the impact of covid19 and the recent volcanic activity on La Soufriere in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
“CXC stands in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in SVG at this time, and all our stakeholders across the region affected by the ongoing covid19 pandemic,” it said.
It said the council recognises that some candidates across the region may not be ready for assessment for the June/July 2021 examination cycle. “Given these circumstances, CXC has reduced the SBA requirements by as much as 50 per cent in some subjects.”
Information on SBA requirements is outlined in the SBA Student Handbook, shared on the CXC website in November last year.
It also said it will share the broad topics to be assessed on paper 2 for Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) students with ministries of education for distribution to all candidates on May 10 – five weeks before the start of exams – for subjects where such details are not already available in the syllabus.
It said, however, the entire syllabus is assessed on paper 1.
It said after extensive consultations with regional ministries of education, it will also allow students to defer sitting examinations and submitting SBAs until January 2022 – CSEC – or May/June 2022 – CAPE, CSEC, and the Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC) – exam cycles.
SBA scores can therefore be used in the next examination sitting.
But it said, “The rules pertaining to the reuse of SBA scores for resit candidates remain unchanged.”
Candidates also have the option of submitting a new SBA or delaying submission of SBAs until the chosen sitting.
“For the first time, CXC will accept SBAs in January 2022 for candidates deferring to sit examinations for subjects offered in that period.”
It said granting deferrals will be managed by principals for in-school candidates, and by the CXC local registrar for private candidates.
“Candidates should indicate an intent to defer from the June/July 2021 examination cycle by May 1, 2021. There will be no fee charged for the deferral of examinations.”
The statement said the deferral procedures were shared with all education ministries and local registrars on March 26 and April 9 and was also shared on the CXC website.
An article in the Jamaican Gleaner on Wednesday said the Caribbean Union of Teachers (CUT) is urging CXC to adjust the syllabus due to the ongoing impact of covid19 and now the volcanic eruption in SVG.
In it, CUT president Dr Garth Anderson said, “Despite the unusual situation, CXC appears to be proceeding in a business-as-usual manner.
“It is inconceivable that CXC would want to conduct the 2021 examinations as a full-blown exercise in a period of tremendous challenges to Caribbean societies, families and education systems, and individual students.”
He added that students in St Lucia, Barbados and Grenada are being affected by the volcano in SVG.