Education stakeholders agree with the Caribbean Examination Council’s (CXC) decision to delay regional exams.
On Wednesday, the council held a press conference to announce it will delay its 2021 regional exams by two weeks.
This applies to the Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC), Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE), and Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC). Exams will begin on June 28 and end on July 30.
“It was inevitable,” said principal of Fatima College, Port of Spain, Fr Gregory Augustine. “It had to come; not only for Trinidad and Tobago but the region. More specifically, if we are attempting to bring (covid19) numbers down, children have to be home.”
He said the school is happy with the decision and believes it was the right thing to do.
“I think everybody feels a lot better about it. If the country is limiting movement, children can’t move about.”
PRO of the National Council of Parent Teacher Associations (NCPTA) Shamila Raheem said precautions need to be taken at this time.
“We cannot send students out. It’s the best decision right now.”
She said, however, there are mixed views about the deferral.
“Some students and parents will want it to be over and done with. It is a bit challenging and frustrating all around. But common sense has to set in, High cases of covid19 means students cannot come out.”
Raheem said while the NCPTA is also happy with CXC's decision to accept school-based assessments (SBAs) for candidates who have chosen to defer their exams until next year, not all students will be eligible for deferrals.
“It is only based on if there is a serious situation or (the student) has a good reason why they cannot write the exam.”
She said accommodating too many deferrals will be difficult, as it will create a backlog and there will be no space for students to come back.
“You must have a really good reason for you to be eligible.”
Augustine also said the student’s space in the school is not guaranteed if they choose to defer.
At a press conference on Wednesday, CXC chairman Prof Hilary Beckles said students are ready to move on and there did not seem to me much of an appetite for deferrals.
“Beckles was right,” said Augustine. He said the school had some inquiries but when the students gave it some thought, they were not interested.
“Not a whole lot of people are going that way.”