(LOOP NEWS) – The independent review team which has been established to examine the concerns that have been raised about the Caribbean Examinations Council’s (CXC) grading system is to provide a report by October 16.
The timeline was given on Friday by CXC Chairman, Professor Hilary Beckles.
According to a release, the team met with Beckles on Friday and will commence work immediately to present the report to him before the deadline.
The review team is to also examine the modified approach for the administration of the July/August 2020 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) examinations and the moderation process that was applied to the School-Based Assessment (SBA) for both examinations, the release from CXC stated.
It has been announced that the team will be chaired by retired Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Open Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Professor Hazel Simmons-McDonald.
Other members of the review team are: Professor Andrew Downes, retired Pro Vice-Chancellor, Planning and Development, the University of the West Indies; Professor Francis De Lanoy, President of the University of Curacao; Harrilal Seecharan, retired Chief Education Officer, Ministry of Education, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago; and Michael S Browne, Minister of Education in Antigua and Barbuda and Chair of the CARICOM Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD).
The review of the results of this year’s regional examinations follows widespread outrage from parents, students, school administrators and educational ministries across the Caribbean regarding the exam grades which have been described as inconsistent and shocking.
Several ministries of education across the region have written to the CXC requesting a thorough investigation of the anomalies that have been detected in relation to the grades among the students who took the examination.
In a statement on Monday, Beckles disclosed that the independent review team will shortly begin its review and “present a report for discussion with relevant stakeholders”.
This is a backtrack from the regional examination body’s position two weeks ago at a press conference, where its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Wayne Wesley, gave no commitment to having a review of all the grades which were awarded this year, despite the mounting concerns across the region.
Wesley also suggested that the reports of discrepancies regarding the grades have been greatly “exaggerated”, and in fact dismissed suggestions that there were “anomalies” in relation to the grades of regional students.
“Remember that the overall performance shows an improvement for the performance of the region in both CAPE and CSEC. I think the notion that there is widespread achievement of less than acceptable grades is exaggerated,” Wesley said at the press conference.
“In fact, this year you have less persons receiving less than acceptable grades of any other period for the last three years or four years,” Wesley added.
But while commending the management of CXC for being “impressive in the delivery of the July 2020 regional examinations within the context of the COVID-19 logistics nightmare,” Beckles stated: “Nonetheless, it was anticipated that given these specific challenges, a period of review and possible revisions would follow, consistent with the regulations of the council.”
The CXC chairman further assured that “Each and every formally reported case will be reviewed and where remedies are required, they will be applied.”