Education Min. silent on preparations for CAPE, CSEC exams set for July/August


The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) has released the timetables for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) with a start date of July 13, however, the Ministry of Education is still to release information on Guyana’s preparedness for these exams after schools have been closed for almost three months.

Both CSEC and CAPE will begin with the oral examinations for Spanish, French and Portuguese languages, according to the timetables released on Monday.

Starting times for all exams within a territory are 09:00hrs and 13:00hrs.

CXC said “if at any centre, the number of candidates is greater than can be accommodated in one session, the local Registrar may arrange to administer the examination in two or more sessions, ensuring that suitable arrangements are made to preserve the integrity of the examinations.”

The Council previously reported that approval was granted for the exams to be held in July by CARICOM’s Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD); the results will be made available by the first week in September 2020.

CXC’s Registrar and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Wayne Wesley then explained that the exams will be done via the E-testing modality for schools that have access to the internet and technology.

In Guyana, a majority of communities, especially those in the hinterland, do not have access to the internet but Dr Wesley assured that this was taken into consideration and the students will write their exams through the paper-based modality.

It was also highlighted that all exams will be held under the national emergency measures put in place by the countries to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The School-Based Assessment (SBA) Paper One and where applicable Papers Two and Three, along with any additional assessment, will be used to assess the students and determine their final grade. This was administered to preserve the integrity of the exams.

The deadline for SBAs is June 30.

Guyana closed schools since March 16 and while some private schools are hosting online classes, the majority of the public school teachers have not been able to work with their students due to unreliable internet connection.

Instead, the Ministry of Education has placed Nursery, Primary and Secondary school materials online to assist parents in helping their children.

Some of these contents have also been printed in the daily newspapers and broadcasted on radio.

President of the Guyana Teacher’s Union, Mark Lyte had expressed concerns and said the exams can be pushed back to later dates due to the novel coronavirus.

He pointed out that when schools closed on March 13, students had an outstanding six weeks of work to be completed from the academic syllabus in order to adequately prepare for these exams.

The News Room has made several attempts to speak with an official from the Ministry on the students’ preparation for the exams in Guyana, however, those attempts proved futile.

On Tuesday morning, The News Room also contacted the Education Minister, Nicolette Henry who said she has a Minister’s meeting every Tuesday and will not be able to speak with us. The Minister was also contacted last week by the News Room and indicated that she was busy and could not speak.

Several calls to Ms. Ingrid Trotman, Chief Education Officer (ag) went unanswered while Superintendent of Examinations, Ms. Sauda Kadir referred questions to the Public Relations Department.

On Tuesday morning, Public Relations Officer at the Ministry Brushell Blackman told the News Room that the Ministry is preparing a report which addresses these concerns. He said following the completion of the report, an official will be available to answer our questions.

Approximately 120,000 students are expected to sit the CSEC examinations while over 30,000 are registered to sit CAPE.

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