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CXC to test new formula

Published:Friday | March 27, 2020 | 12:28 AMJudana Murphy/Gleaner Writer

Candidates registered to sit Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) May-June 2020 exams will be assessed using a modified process, the result of a policy decision taken by the council.

More than 30,000 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) and 120,380 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate students across the region are now scheduled to sit exams in July.

In view of the impact of COVID-19 on the region, CXC had discussions with the various education ministries and tertiary institutions to arrive at an agreement for the administration of the exams.

CXC Registrar and CEO Dr Wayne Wesley said that the council has proposed a strategy “to yield valid grades and minimise the disruption to the education system during these unprecedented times”.

The policy decision will see the administration of a common paper, a Multiple Choice Assessments and School Based Assessments (SBAs), or Paper 032s, the alternative to SBA for private candidates.

Final grades will be awarded based on the moderated SBAs and multiple-choice assessments.

Students registered to sit modern languages (Spanish, French, and Portuguese), human and social biology, and visual arts will be required to complete additional components.

“We do understand and appreciate what is happening in the region, and we are flexible enough to respond and entertain the requisite dialogue with our local registrars to ensure that our students, which are of the primary concern, are not disenfranchised and are afforded the best opportunity to demonstrate their potential,” Wesley said in a media briefing at the CXC Headquarters in Barbados yesterday afternoon.

SBAs pushed back

Submissions of SBAs will be pushed back by at least a month, and the council remains in discussion with local registrars to determine an appropriate date.

E-testing modality, or computer-based testing, will be employed to reduce the administrative processing time.

In centres where there may be low Internet connectivity, the offline mode may be utilised.

“This particular approach will still allow us to have examination results ready by the end of August or early September, which will allow for students to matriculate to higher education or for access to employment as they so desire,” he explained.

Meanwhile, the concern about candidates sitting exams in a common place was raised.

The CEO and registrar explained that “if that condition prevails during the period for which we have suggested for this examination, then we will have to rethink the offering of that examination during that time”.

He added that the national protocols for gatherings will continue to influence the council’s approach to assessment.

Wesley said that the council has given consideration to not administering exams this year but said it was a last resort.

Students and teachers are being encouraged to utilise the CXC Learning Hub at l as they continue preparations.