Wed | Oct 4, 2023

Students worried after CXC concerns about math paper ‘leak’

Published:Thursday | May 18, 2023 | 1:17 AMSashana Small/Staff Reporter

PRINCIPAL OF Old Harbour High School in St Catherine, Lynton Weir, says students who sat the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) mathematics examination yesterday are worried about their results after learning that the paper was leaked.

“They’re having the fear that here it is, the leakage took place, they don’t know about the leakage, and they are fearful now that CSEC is going to apply stiff measures in marking the paper and they’re of the opinion that many of them might not pass the exam,” Weir said in a Gleaner interview.

He added that approximately 400 students from the school sat the CSEC mathematics exam yearly, with an average of 52 per cent pass rate.

Weir explained that he learnt of the breach after a student brought it to a senior teacher’s attention.

“The student said something about a question, and what have you, so I said to my teacher, ‘Find out from the student if it is a question that the child has seen before’ because I was saying to my senior teacher it could be that the child saw the question before because based on how CXC does their thing, they do past paper questions,” he said. “And then he asked the child that question, and then the child submit to him the paper itself and said ‘Sir, look at this’.”

In a statement, the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) said it was aware of concerns the (CSEC) math paper 02 had been leaked. The release said it sought to assure candidates that it is being treated with the “highest urgency”.

However, the statement did not indicate the territory in which the leak took place or how widely the paper is believed to have been leaked.

Emphasising that it is a matter of “great concern”, the CXC says it has started an investigation and would make a definitive statement once the investigation has been completed.

Meanwhile, principal of Excelsior High school, Deanroy Bromfield, says he heard of the breach. However, he said that it did not have any impact on the examination process at his school.

Bromfield said he is awaiting the outcome of the investigation from the CXC.

A similar view was shared by principal of Penwood High School, Omar Largie. Largie said he learnt of the breach the morning of the examinatio, but stated that his students were not aware.

Jamaica’s CSEC mathematics passes have been trending down over the last four years, falling to a dismal 37 per cent pass rate last year.

In 2021, 38.2 per cent of Jamaican candidates attained passing grades of one to three, falling from 61.2 per cent in 2020 and 54.6 per cent in 2019.