CXC buckles in scandal over grades; sets up independent review team

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Following intense pressure from regional Ministers of Education about major discrepancies in this year’s CSEC and CAPE results, the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) on Monday announced that an independent review team will soon investigate the myriad of issues.

Dr Wayne Wesley, the Registrar of CXC last week announced that there will be no general review of the grades but reviews will be done once it is formally requested and paid for.

But a statement by CXC Chairman Professor Sir Hilary Beckles noted that “Nonetheless, it was anticipated that given these specific challenges a period of review and possible revisions would follow, consistent with the regulations of the Council. It has been agreed, therefore, that an Independent Review Team will shortly begin this work and present a report for discussion with relevant stakeholders.”

Since the release of its preliminary results on September 22, a number of Caribbean countries including Guyana reported major discrepancies with the results but Dr Wayne had defended CXC and said it was basically impossible for some of these discrepancies to occur given the rigorous system in place by the Examination Council.

Queen’s College, Guyana’s top secondary school has since signalled its intention to file an injunction at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) seeking to block the official declaration of the results if CXC does not review the grades.

The authorities at the school also noted that they will petition Guyana’s Education Ministry to remove Guyana from participating in future CSEC exams.

See below the full statement issued by Professor Beckles:

Statement by Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Chairman, Caribbean Examinations Council:

Concerns raised in the public domain with respect to the efficacy of procedures and systems used by the Caribbean Examinations Council® (CXC®) in its computation and declaration of student performance data are of great importance to the organisation.

The Registrar, Dr Wayne Wesley, and his team have met with distinguished regional Ministers of Education in order to discuss these concerns and identify the underlying causes with a view to moving forward and providing clarity to our stakeholders and enhanced support.

CXC® is satisfied that Ministers have received explanations for its positions in light of the public discourse. It is understood that while there might be policy and technical issues to be addressed immediately, the maintenance of public trust going forward is paramount.

There will be ongoing dialogue with regional Ministries of Education based upon the official gathering of data relevant to all ventilated concerns. Each and every formally reported case will be reviewed and where remedies are required they will be applied.

Management at CXC® has been impressive in the delivery of the July 2020 regional examinations within the context of the COVID-19 logistics nightmare, and crippling global doubt about revised examinations systems and procedures. I commend the team at CXC® for their effort to serve the best they can – the people of our region.

Nonetheless, it was anticipated that given these specific challenges a period of review and possible revisions would follow, consistent with the regulations of the Council. It has been agreed, therefore, that an Independent Review Team will shortly begin this work and present a report for discussion with relevant stakeholders.

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