Tyrone Reid, Senior Staff Reporter
Head of CXC warns of prosecution for persons holding falsified grades
Chief executive officer of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) - Dr Didacus Jules - has warned that holders of falsified preliminary results slips can be prosecuted.
Jules was responding to a Sunday Gleaner exclusive which revealed that crooks were selling doctored preliminary results slips on the streets of Kingston.
During the undercover operation, a Gleaner reporter contacted one of the scammers and purchased a grade one in the CXC's Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) mathematics exam for $12,000.
"Buyers beware. The presentation of these certificates could result in criminal charges being brought against the holders of the fraudulent results," said Jules via a video response dispatched by the CXC headquarters in Barbados.
He added: "Each participating territory has legislation in place to prosecute persons suspected of fraudulent activities in respect of CXC examinations."
Even though criminals are making $12,000 per subject from their illicit operations, the CXC Act states that anyone found guilty of examination fraud "shall be liable on summary conviction in a resident magistrate's court to a fine not exceeding $2,000 or in default of payment thereof, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months".
Section 6 subsection two of the act stipulates that a person commits an examination fraud if he, whether by himself or in concert with others and whether as a candidate at an examination or otherwise, does anything in relation to an examination with the intention of falsifying the result of the examination.
"Without prejudice to any other form of proof, evidence of examination fraud may include ... the act of forging, with intent to defraud or deceive, documents relating to access to an examination or to examination results, or the act of uttering any such document knowing it to be forged," reads section 7 of the CXC Act.
While the law seems to offer just a slap on the wrist for offenders, Jules said the council did not take the matter lightly and pledged to explore steps to further tighten its already stringent security measures.
In addition, the CXC registrar was confident that the holders of fraudulent CXC results slips would eventually be exposed when asked to present the official certificate or request transcripts directly from CXC.
He reiterated that the preliminary results slips, issued to candidates immediately after the results are released, are not the final authority on CXC grades.
"It is not, and I repeat, it is not the official certificate candidates receive from CXC," he said.
Jules also sought to assure the region that, contrary to the claims made by the criminals who are making almost identical copies of the preliminary results slip issued by CXC, its database is very well protected and the information contained on a false results slip cannot be entered into the CXC database.
"CXC encourages employers and tertiary institutions to require applicants to request transcripts to be sent directly to them from CXC. CXC does not issue transcripts to individuals.
"We wish to assure the region of the integrity of our exam processing system and the security of our official certificate," said Jules.
Jamaica's Education Minister Ronald Thwaites described the sale of CSEC passes as scandalous. In a sales pitch to The Gleaner's undercover reporter, one of the masterminds behind the scam said the illegal operation was an inside job.