Monday 30 November, 2020

CXC postpones examinations until July

Chief Executive Officer and Registrar of the Caribbean Examinations Council, Dr Wayne Wesley.

Chief Executive Officer and Registrar of the Caribbean Examinations Council, Dr Wayne Wesley.

In light of the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) within the Caribbean region in particular, the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) has postponed all exams until July.

However, even this date is subject to change if need be.
CXC Registrar and CEO, Dr Wayne Wesley, announced this afternoon that the examinations which were slated for May 4 to June 12 will be postponed by one month. Wesley did not give a specific date for commencement but stated that the regional body was monitoring the spread of COVID-19 and will reschedule accordingly. 

The revised examination format will include one complete paper which is multiple choice and the school-based assessment (SBA). Private candidates will complete Paper032s, which is an alternative to the SBA.

The changed format is inclusive of all subjects except Visual Arts, Human and Social Biology and Modern Languages (Spanish, French, and Portuguese).

CXC will include e-Testing, whereby students can complete the examinations even if they are offline.

Over 120,000 students regionally will be impacted by the changes. 

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Wesley stated that the e-Testing model will reduce processing time for marking and ensure a timely release of examination results. The month delay takes into account that students need results provided between August/September to has the best opportunity to present their grades and facilitate matriculation to higher education or in order to access employment as well as to minimise the disruption of the 2020/2021 academic year. 

"There are automatic processes for marking a multiple choice paper which will result in faster processing of the grades. The other subjects that require a sitting of a Paper 2, the normal process of grading will follow but it will be a reduced number," he explained. 

The deadline for the submission of SBAs has been extended until June 2020.  As some schools across the region have been closed due to the spread of COVID-19, the CXC Registrar indicated that the regional body was reaching out to local registrars to determine what can be done to ensure that students are not disenfranchised. 

"Several different states in the region would have been at different stages with respect to the completion of SBAs. We would be working very closely with the local registrars to come an appropriate time for the submission of those SBAs, those that can still be completed we will encourage those, those that still have challenges in terms of going to the requisite science labs to complete those, we are working through the details with the local registrars to see how best we can accommodate those students who still require extra time or to look at where they are and use other information to assist at arriving at a final SBA," Wesley said. 

The CXC CEO also said that the regional body will continue to monitor and assess the pandemic, but if it prevails or worsens, the examination date will be further shifted to August or September. He held that the cancellation of examinations will be the last resort. 

"With the understanding that we are still monitoring everything with COVID-19, . . . we have indicated that the national protocol as it relates to gatherings will continue to influence our approach to assessment so it is on the premise that we would have had COVID-19 pandemic under control and we are able to move about normally as we would in the past but if that condition prevails we would have to shift the date further to August or September.

"We are cognizant of that particular reality [to cancel examinations]. We are mindful of the start of the 2020/2021 academic year and what that means but certainly if there is the continued impact of the pandemic then we would have to make the prerequisite adjustment to accommodate."

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