The Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) announced on Wednesday that its regional written exams will be postponed by two weeks and will now begin on June 28.
At a virtual press conference, the council announced its decision to postpone its Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC), Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination, and Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) 2021 examinations.
The results will be released in the last week of September to the first week in October, as the council had previously said. .
Registrar and CEO of CXC Dr Wayne Wesley said the council held regional consultations with stakeholders, including teachers, students, and members of government, to come up with a solution that would benefit everyone.
Wesley said the council decided to delay the regional exams for a further two weeks, giving students extra time to prepare for exams. He said the decision came after considering issues arising from the covid19 pandemic and other natural disasters.
CXC chairman Prof Sir Hilary Beckles said the council met on Tuesday to respond to all issues from ministers of education throughout the region, including rising covid19 numbers, a state of emergency in Trinidad and Tobago, the eruption of the La Soufriere volcano in St Vincent and the Grenadines, and the ash fall from the eruption affecting countries such as Barbados.
“CXC has a mandate to collaborate with educational leaders,” he said. “Our task is to listen to our education ministers to find a consensus…in this crisis”
He said although many of the countries in the region agreed they were ready to go ahead with exams, they took into consideration the needs of students in other countries where there were concerns.
In addition to the postponement of exams, Wesley also announced other adjustments. He said the council will maintain the administration of all papers.
“CXC will administer CAPE, CSEC, and CCSLC in their original format.”
That is, papers one, two, and three (one) or school-based assessments (SBAs) or paper three (two) for private candidates, and papers one and two for CCSLC students.
He said the deadline to defer exams to next year has been extended to May 31 and the deadline for submitting SBAs has been extended to June 30 for all CSEC and CAPE exams.
He said queries about the broad topics for each subject, released on May 10, were submitted to the council and are under review. He said it will respond by Friday to ensure clarity on the topics.
Wesley also said further consideration will be given to the grading process in light of covid19 to take into account the psychosocial impact on students to ensure they are not disenfranchised.
He also said, “The council took note of the continued effort to work with the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines to ensure students are not disenfranchised by the volcanic eruptions.”
He said the process of grading always takes into consideration the levels of performance of students.The impact of covid19 in 2020 and 2021 was considered in the grading process, he said, and some flexibility allowed.
Wesley said to date 13,655 CSEC students and 1,090 CAPE students have applied for deferrals.
Beckles said students are ready to move on.
“There doesn’t seem to be an appetite for deferrals in the region. Young people, they want to get on with their lives…they are looking to the future."