Teachers' union worried about psychological effects of exam leak

TUTTA president Martin Lum Kin  -
TUTTA president Martin Lum Kin -

TT Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA) has expressed concern about the psychological effects of the leaking and scrapping of the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) Math Paper II exam and condemns the incident.

In response to questions from Sunday Newsday via WhatsApp, TTUTA president Martin Lum Kin said the association appreciated CXC's acknowledgement of the psychological effects of the incident on the students, parents and educators who invested considerable resources in preparing for the paper as well as the attempt to mitigate against it, but condemned the “debacle.”

In a press conference last week, CXC registrar Dr Wayne Wesley said there was a leak of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Math Paper II before the exam was held on Monday. The leak was traced to an examination centre in Jamaica.

As a result, Math Paper II, the theory paper, will be scrapped and marks from the Paper I (multiple choice) exam and Paper III (school-based assessments) will be used to determine students’ overall grade.

“TTUTA questions the validity of utilising the Paper I and SBA marks to truly assess the capabilities of the students. This has far reaching implications for the students as they journey further into their academic pursuits,” said Lum Kin.

“TTUTA takes note of the fact that Dr Wesley, registrar of CXC, has not apologised to the stakeholders for the breach in security. This flippant attitude is nothing new, as demonstrated at previous media conferences to address other debacles of CXC.

“TTUTA has and continues to call for CXC to be held accountable to the governments / ministries of education and by extension the citizens who rely on this body. It is quite disconcerting the fact that the ministers of education are silent in the midst of these circumstances. Are they really seeking the best interests of their citizens?”

Lum Kin added that the association was not confident that CXC’s investigations into the matter would bring the perpetrators to justice. He called on CXC to do so, so people would know the leakage of papers would not be tolerated.

In addition, he said, TTUTA had consistently called for a comprehensive review on the purpose and the workings of CXC because the council should not be allowed to be a “law onto itself.”

National Parent-Teacher Association (NPTA) president Kevin David also called on CXC to find and punish the perpetrators.

“We believe that some sort of reprimand or penalty should be given to those found culpable based upon the investigation. In addition, other stringent measures should be taken to prevent incidents like these from recurring.”

He, however, commended CXC for its quick response to the situation.

He said the students had other exams to prepare for and did not need a “cloud hanging over them” as to whether or not they would have to repeat Math Paper II. He said the possibility of having to repeat the paper would have created a lot of mental stress for both the CSEC students and their parents. But now the children could focus on the exams for their other subjects.


"Teachers’ union worried about psychological effects of exam leak"

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