Flaws in education system led to CXC results challenges

Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand has said the flaws uncovered in the education system hampered the streamlining of the changes made by the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) for assessing this year’s exams.

The Minister made the statement Tuesday regarding the preliminary results of the CXC which left students at 20 schools with ungraded results in 15 subject areas in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE).

“Our education system made serious mistakes…. Of these 20 schools that had ungraded marks it is because we made mistakes in ensuring that those SBAs reached CXC, so it was not the students’ fault. It was the way it was delivered and submitted and that will not happen again,” Manickchand said.

Nevertheless, she said that major changes to the examination formats by CXC still remain one of the main contributing factors to the unwelcomed results.

“The Guyana position remains that we … believe changes should not have been made in a system that was already seriously shocked by COVID […] That was not properly considered in the sitting of the exams,” the Minister explained.

She added that blunders on the part of CXC nonetheless, are important learning lessons that should guide the Council ahead.

“Going forward, CXC has been asked to be very clear with how they mark, what is required when reviewing SBAs and how it is they are weighting subjects. What we have learnt here is that we must not do anything that is remarkably different without warning and extensive training to our teachers and parents and stakeholders in the system.”

In the context of Guyana, she said that systems must be in place to ensure that deadlines are met and teachers are guided in the best way possible.

As such, Chief Education Officer (CEO) Dr. Marcel Hutson is working along with the Assistant CEO of Secondary Education to create policies for mitigating similar mishaps in the future.

To date, through Minister’s continued interventions, 14 of the 20 schools with ungraded results have since had this rectified.

Guyana requested school-wide reviews which was facilitated by CXC. In addition to this, teachers have had the opportunity to indicate the students whom they believe should have performed better. The reviews for Guyanese students were done for free.