Saturday 5 December, 2020

PM Mottley and the CXC saga: The public weighs in

Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley

Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley

Many in the Caribbean agree with the stance that Barbados' leader is taking with the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) and the July 2020 results debacle.

Mia Mottley is often hailed as the Prime Minister of the Caribbean and after the bold assertions she made on Sunday in respect to paying for Bajan students' CXC reviews, her support in the region seemed to grow.

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On Sunday, PM Mottley shared her thoughts on the CXC saga that has adversely affected thousands of students throughout the region.

During a St George North political meeting ahead of the November 11 By-election in that constituency, she said her government will foot the bill for students who need their exams reviewed.

Had she not made the offer, parents would be required to pay USD $15 for each review.

Mottley knew of the meeting CXC had called with Ministers of Education throughought the region, and she told Barbados' Education Minister: "Bajans don’t beg and therefore tomorrow you will tell them that the Government of Barbados will pay for the review of all the children who need a review by CXC."

Prime Minister Mottley said what's happening to Caribbean children is "not right".

And on social media, perople across the territories also expressed their disgust with the handling of the matter by the Caribbean Examinations Council and voiced support for their 'Aunty Mia'.

One commenter in Trinidad and Tobago said: "This prime minister is a real classy leader! Always exercising excellent leadership qualities."

Another said: "Sincere leadership with compassion never fails. No matter the odds and the hardships the people will stand with you as opposed to a petty leader whose hallmark qualities are treachery and vindictiveness."

One commenter even suggested that the former CARICOM Chair host leadership seminars for all other regional leaders.

Commenters in Barbados seemed to have mixed reviews.

The most popular comment was "Another Barbadian commenter said: "No one should be paying CXC for their foul-up."

This was followed by, " If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything, I’m happy that these students get justice for their hard work."

Agreeing with this comment, six people liked: "Top shelf leadership team in place and working....

And this individual echoed the thoughts of some others during this By-election campaign, as he said: "That's a vote catcher there. What do you expect in an election time? Do what you gotta do to get the votes or get the job done."

To which, one commenter even surmised that the prime minister may have spoken out of turn. "Typical. Making a policy decision from a political platform. What about Cabinet meetings? Of course, she would not get the glory. BLP supporters in St George North should vote DLP to send a message that they are tired with her egotism. Such a vote would not impact the government (28:2), but would dent her ego."

And this led another to write: "I like to hear when tax payers money being spent on the people....don't mind the loosers [sic] who just looking to poke holes in positive policy."

Someone in Antigua posted: "All Caribbean governments should follow her example."

Yet another commenter took CXC to task for the July 2020 exam results saying: "The problem we have in the Caribbean is the problem of accountability. It seems we don't exactly remember how to hold people accountable. So dem do us as dem like. And all we can do is take it."

In response to mounting pressure from parents are students who have been affected, CXC established an Independent Review Team to investigate the results.

CXC Registrar Dr Wayne Wesley announced a 50 per cent reduction in exam review fees.

This means parents are now required to pay USD $15 per review.

Many have since said, however, that they should not be made to pay for mistakes made by the exam's governing body, a stance which Barbados' Minister of Education Santia Bradshaw first took and spoke out about when this saga began.

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