Vasciannie urges TVJ to rectify Schools’ Challenge problem

Vasciannie urges TVJ to rectify Schools’ Challenge problem

Monday, March 21, 2016

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former Ambassador to the United States Professor Stephen Vasciannie has written to
Television Jamaica’s
(TVJ) General Manager Claire Grant, asking her to rectify a dispute over the outcome of the
Schools’ Challenge Quiz
quarter-final match between Kingston College (KC) and Campion College.

According to Vasciannie, the problem needs Grant’s intervention as it could undermine and weaken the reputation of the competition.

"Having watched the match, I am convinced that the result, as announced by
TVJ, is incorrect," Ambassador Vasciannie, a KC old boy, said in reference to the match aired on March 18.

His letter came after KC Principal Dave Myrie wrote to
TVJ filing a complaint about the final score and asking the television station to either review the situation and declare KC the winner, or arrange a rematch.

In his letter, Myrie argued that at the end of the match, which was played and recorded on May 14, his team had "a clear lead — at least 43 points to Campion College’s 39".

He said the 43 points included those earned for the correct answer given to a Spanish question, but which was "initially and surprisingly ruled incorrect by the judges".

But even after that, he said, KC should have been declared the winner.

However, Myrie said that after the judges reversed themselves on the Spanish question, they deducted points from KC regarding another answer given during section three and which was initially scored as correct.

"This new matter related to the answer ‘Absalom’ to a Bible knowledge question," Myrie said. "The judges’ subsequent decision or declaration that KC’s answer to this question was incorrect (based on the pronunciation of the name!!) was particularly disturbing as KC was unaware that there was a challenge to, or issue with this answer when the judges retired to review section three at the end of the match."

Ambassador Vasciannie, in his letter, said that at the end of the match it appeared that KC had won by four points. Then, after a commercial break,
TVJ returned and announced that after a "careful review" the score was tied at the end of the match, necessitating a "sudden death" play-off. Campion College prevailed on the sudden death.

TVJ did not indicate what aspect of the ‘careful review’ necessitated the deduction of four points from Kingston College," Vasciannie said.

"My understanding from persons present at the studio when the match was recorded ,is that the judges held that Kingston College had mispronounced the name ‘Absalom’. But, on examination, it is evident that there was nothing wrong with the pronunciation of ‘Absalom’," he argued.

"So, the question remains, on what basis did TVJ deduct four points from Kingston College? I ask you to intervene to rectify this situation.

TVJ Schools’ Challenge Quiz has had an important history. I fear that episodes such as the current problem concerning the Kingston College/Campion College match may undermine, weaken and tarnish the reputation of the competition. Your intervention is necessary. I urge you to do the right thing. Kingston College should be confirmed as the victor in the match," Vasciannie said.

Before receiving Ambassador Vasciannie’s letter, Grant had already stated
TVJ’s position on the controversy to Myrie.

She told the KC principal that his letter was referred to the judges, but pointed out that, in accordance with Rule 8 of the competition, "there does not have to be a challenge to a question for the sitting judges to make a ruling".

Said Grant: "In light of the judges’ report,
TVJ is sufficiently assured that due process was followed by the said judges and that the outcome of the captioned match was fair and just."

She said that if Myrie still wished to have further discussion on the matter, the station was open to having a meeting with him and anyone he deemed appropriate.

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