Mon | Nov 29, 2021

Electronic testing, absenteeism on the rise for CXC

Published:Friday | October 15, 2021 | 12:08 AM

The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) has reported an increase in the use of electronic testing in the sitting of June-July exams.

Director of Operations Dr Nicole Manning said 27 per cent more Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) candidates utilised the facility when compared to last year.

For the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC), there was an increase of 84 per cent.

“There are challenges that were experienced with Internet access, power outages, and the incorrect version of the secure browser. However, CXC worked with the centres, and no candidate would have been affected negatively,” Manning said during a ceremony to launch the official release of results.

In her presentation, Manning shared that CAPE recorded the highest level of absenteeism in the last four years.

Approximately 8.3 per cent of students did not turn up for exams in June and July. In 2020, just under four per cent of students were absent.

Similarly, there was a high level of absenteeism among CSEC students, 11.23 percent. Only 5.3 per cent of students were absent last year.

Just over 1,200 deferrals for CAPE subject entries were submitted and 15,179 for CSEC.

So far, 4,179 students have registered to sit their exams in January 2022, while 7,720 have opted for June 2022.

CXC is awaiting responses from 3,280 students. Registration closes on November 5.

Meanwhile, CXC Registrar and CEO Dr Wayne Wesley said that the regional examination body has not been immune from the effects of COVID-19.

“In recognition of this, CXC is now implementing a new five-year strategic plan for the period 2021 to 2025. The vision is to create a digitally transformed enterprise, providing quality, relevant and globally recognised educational services,” Wesley said.

To this end, he said the strategic plan represents a structured system of transformation. The strategic plan includes the use of artificial intelligence, digitalisation, and inclusive decision-making.

“No longer should we be making plans and operating in a vacuum ... . We don’t want to return to what we saw last year, with the region making a lot of queries and concerns because of a lack of communication and understanding of the process,” Wesley said.

He said the digital transformation of the education system would be an enabler for operational flexibility, but was not to be viewed as a panacea.

“It cannot solve everything. Other interventions such as psychosocial interventions are critical,” he remarked.