(CMC) — The Caribbean Community (Caricom) Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) on Education says regional students will sit the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) in July.
The COHSOD meeting, which was held virtually and chaired by the Antigua and Barbuda education minister, Michael Browne, said that the Barbados-based CXC would be setting exams for students in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE).
CXC Registrar Dr Wayne Wesley, who made a presentation at the meeting, explained that the administration of the modified examination process for the award of valid grades and preserving the integrity of the examinations involved the administration of Paper 1 (Multiple Choice Assessment), School-Based Assessment, and where applicable additional assessment components along with appropriate modelling accounting for historical data and teacher predicted information.
He said while the proposed revised administration schedule for examinations is July 2020 — results released in the first week of September 2020 — there was need for a regional consensus considering the impact of COVID-19 and the respective national protocols.
A statement issued after the meeting noted that the regional education ministers also agreed to have examinations administered via an e-Testing modality in countries that are equipped with the requisite infrastructure. However, where there were infrastructure challenges, candidates would be allowed to sit paper-based examinations.
The statement noted that the CXC in collaboration with The University of the West indies (The UWI) presented another proposal at the meeting in relation to requirements for CAPE applicants for 2020 admission.
“Their proposal to accept CAPE Unit 1 plus previous results to serve as matriculation to UWI for the next academic year was accepted by the council,” the statement said, adding that the council also adopted Public Health Guidelines for the reopening of schools, as proposed in the report from the executive director of the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) Dr Joy St John.
The report from CARPHA included initial guidance on the development of protocols for reopening of schools in the response, recovery, and resilience phases of the crisis by the education sector.
Dr St John also spoke to the need for mental health considerations during a public health crisis and reminded the COHSOD of the complexities of the education system in member states and the challenges for social distancing.
“Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago registered concerns regarding the decisions in relation to the date and modification of the CXC examinations, however, the CXC indicated that further bilateral discussions in relation to special considerations could be explored. The Caribbean Union of Teachers also raised concerns regarding the health and safety of stakeholders,” the statement added.