Sunday 29 November, 2020

Almost 14,000 affected! CXC Registrar says ungraded is 'main concern'

CXC Registrar and CEO Dr Wayne Wesley during the ZOOM press conference on October 18.

CXC Registrar and CEO Dr Wayne Wesley during the ZOOM press conference on October 18.

Just shy of 14,000 scripts were marked ungraded in the official Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) July 2020 results.

Ungraded scripts across the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) have significantly increased between 2019 and 2020, but there was a more moderate increase in the case of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC). In total, there were 13,874 ungraded awards this year.

This is in comparison to 8,819 ungraded awards in 2019 across both CSEC and CAPE.

The year 2020 has seen a tripling of ungraded awards amongst students who wrote CAPE. The figure for 2019 stood at 757 and for this year it jumped to 2,296. That is a 1,539 increase. Meanwhile for CSEC, in 2019 some 8,062 scripts were marked ungraded in comparison to 11,578 in 2020. Ungraded CSEC scripts for 2020 rose by 3,516.

Speaking during today's press conference via ZOOM, the CXC Registrar and CEO Dr Wayne Wesley admitted that most queries and reviews have been lodged because of students receiving at least one ungraded.

He said: "Certainly across the region you would have many institutions who would have had challenges with ungraded, which is the main concern in a lot of instances."

Asked to clarify what leads to an ungraded grade being awarded, Dr Wesley said: "In the issue of ungraded it is an indication that some or part of the SBA or submission of information regarding the SBA would have been outstanding and as a result, the student would have been awarded ungraded. In those circumstances where the information would have been insufficient we would have been in contact with the respective institutions to ensure that that information is provided and processed."

He said that at the base of any ungraded is always insufficient information being provided for the candidate to be awarded a grade - either the SBA missing part or parts. 

Communication issues leading to ungraded awards nothing new

CXC Chairman, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles said that this is not the first time that a breakdown in communication between schools or colleges has raised its head.

He said: "The information communicated to CXC might not be complete and CXC can only adjudicate in the context of information before it. So the system allows for the full communication of all the necessary elements so that a final adjudication can be made. The communications' interface between the providers, the schools, the colleges and how that information comes into the CXC organisation, that is an area of concern that has been picked up in the context."

Continuing, he disclosed, "There have been cases in the past where this has happened. This could happen for multiple reasons. It could be data deficiency at the level of the institution. It could be a computer communications challenge. But effectively ungraded speaks to the insufficiency or the lack of total information at the point of delivering a grade."

The press conference was held the present the findings of the Independent Review Team's report. The Team was convened by Sir Hilary. The Report was to be on the review of the modified approach for the administration of the July/August 2020 CSEC® and CAPE® Examinations; the moderation process applied to the School-Based Assessment (SBA) for the July/August 2020 CSEC® and CAPE® Examinations; and the grading process for the July/August 2020 CSEC® and CAPE® Examinations, and more.

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