Minister of Education Priya Manickchand is assuring students that she will fight to ensure that the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) addresses their concerns and find a satisfactory solution regarding the grading of the recent exams.
The Minister has joined what is now a countrywide rejection of discrepancies in the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE).
“We understand what happened here, but I want to assure you that the adults are fighting for you. You are not alone,” Manickchand said in a bid to comfort students across the country who are now traumatized and disenchanted.
She said these include children who performed well throughout their academic life coming out with failing grades. In addition. all the students in particular subject areas in some schools were left ungraded. The Minister recognized that the issue is not peculiar to Guyana but other countries in the region.
Manickchand believes an investigation needs to be undertaken by the Council.
“It is too important and too serious and too widespread for CXC to ignore it,” he added.
CXC has already issued statements urging students to apply for personal review of their grade, a process that would cost students some USD$30 each. This Manickchand has withheld her support for and insists that CXC finds a better solution and do so quickly.
“CXC has talked about applying for review… CXC cannot be flippant about these concerns from Guyana and other countries and just suggest we follow processes… why should they pay for something that is very well not their fault?
The Minister was also joined in her call for CXC to address the concerns by her colleague Parliamentarian and General-Secretary of the Guyana Teachers Union Coretta McDonald who has also asked the Council to do more than issue press statements in addressing the concerns.
“We are sending a signal to CXC, fix your business or we will fix it for you,” McDonald said.
McDonald said she is also deeply concerned as a parent herself about these results, calling it the dissemination of ‘willy nilly grades.”
She said the GTU had raised several concerns prior to the examinations, urging CXC to use this period to reform the examinations.
“We were given all the political talks from CXC and its Board but here we are now with children who having worked so hard being disenfranchised,” she added.
Manickchand has since spoken to the Registrar of CXC and has expressed her concerns while at the same time she has made efforts to speak with her Minister colleagues in other countries.
She said the Ministry is still receiving more complaints and gathering information.
The Minister of Education is going to aggressively pursue this matter with CXC in the best interest of the nation’s children.