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Chapter closes on vexed SBAs issue at Penwood High

Published:Friday | October 14, 2016 | 10:00 AM

The late submission of samples of school-based assessments (SBAs) was not only confined to the Penwood High School in Kingston, but impacted scores of students at four other institutions locally.

The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) had classified as 'ungraded' the SBAs of 40 students for whom samples were not sent to the regional education body by the July 31 deadline, this year.

Minister of Education Ruel Reid on Wednesday sought to close the chapter on the SBA debacle, announcing that the CXC had now submitted grades for the Penwood High students.

He told journalists during Wednesday's post-Cabinet press briefing that hard copies of the results have been delivered to the Overseas Examinations Commission in Kingston.

The non-submission of SBAs also plagued at least four other institutions this year, which are now just receiving their results for some students from the CXC.

Reid said arrangements were being made for the institutions to pick up copies of the SBA results.

The other schools impacted by the late submission of SBAs are Portmore Community College in St Catherine, Haile Selassie High in Kingston, Mannings Evening Institute in Westmoreland and St Vincent Strambi High School in Bull Savannah, St Elizabeth.

It was during the Penwood High issue that the education minister enquired as to whether other institutions had similar SBA challenges.

He later discovered that other schools had been delinquent in handing over the SBAs of students on time.

NO STRUCTURE

"There is no structure which existed where the parent ministry would have been signalled if there was any irregularity or anomaly," Reid said, adding that a system has now been put in place to alert the ministry to any problems which may arise.

The education minister pointed out that going forward, the board of high schools would be asked to impose possible sanctions when persons are found culpable for failing to submit the students' SBAs.

"If schools over time are inefficient and delinquent in carrying out these functions, I will have to take action in regard to dealing with the board to get improvement and compliance."

Earlier this year, Penwood High had failed to submit the samples to the CXC by the July 31 deadline, resulting in the students' exam results being classified as ungraded.

Jamaica had appealed to CXC after The Gleaner reported the issue. The CXC later accepted the samples.