Now 98% JC boys pass English, says principal

Now 98% JC boys pass English, says principal

BY KIMBERLEY HIBBERT
Senior staff reporter
hibbertk@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, October 18, 2020

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JAMAICA College Principal Wayne Robinson has clarified recent claims in the media that only six per cent of boys at the institution passed English in the recent sitting of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Examinations.

In an interview with the Jamaica Observer, Robinson said the initial results that the boys received showed them getting a failing grade but he had issues with how the story was framed, as the school was in the process of querying the results and most schools seemed to be having technical issues with CXC's online system.

“The article said 90-odd per cent of boys at JC had failed English. We know that this was not so, so we went through the process that usually takes place when you query results with CXC — and that process for English language was completed last Friday and they sent back the corrected results,” Robinson told the Sunday Observer. “This indicated that 98 per cent of the boys actually passed English. This is what we're used to and what has been happening over the past three or four years. This was put out in a conspicuous manner and all our stakeholders all over the world saw that and said 'What is happening at JC?' when we know that all of it was an exam quirk...the correct information is that 98 per cent of the boys passed English at JC.”

Robinson said 299 boys at JC sat the English A examination and 295 received a passing grade. He added that the school was still awaiting the revised results of other subjects that it queried, as with the many issues the online system has presented the queries are the only sure-fire way to guarantee that all results are accurate.

“It's a different year. This is the first year, ever, CXC has requested that all SBAs be electronically uploaded, so that has to be taken into consideration. This is the first year there is no Paper Two — you are just marked from the multiple choice and your SBA has to be electronically uploaded. If I saw the grades coming back as 'Ungraded', I wouldn't worry at all. It would mean they didn't get a component of the exam, which would have been the SBA. With all SBAs being electronically uploaded for every subject, issues will happen. But when the boys got their results a lot of them saw grade fours, so I know right away they saw the SBAs but clearly something didn't get there. If we sent it, they never got it. But then, they also sent and told us they got the SBAs, so we were fine sitting back thinking everything was okay until we got the results.

“We had boys with 12, 13 ones, eight, nine ones who didn't pass English. So you know something was wrong [and] we found what it was. They [CXC] hadn't received all of the SBAs and we weren't aware they hadn't received it, while we had sent it up. There was a glitch so we went and sorted out that glitch with CXC's help and made sure we had everything — and that's what reversed it,” Robinson explained.

But of the four boys who failed according to the correct results, Robinson said JC was still pressing to find out exactly what went wrong on those students' accounts.

“Math and English are important but JC is a sort of a techno-savvy school, so IT and the sciences are also big tickets for us. It is important that English, which is the primary subject of all subjects, maintain a very standard on record. You can't go anywhere without that and if you fail English, you have to do it over. There's no option around English — you must pass. Even the five boys who have failed we are still querying. There's one that they're withholding the information and we still want to find out exactly what happened with those boys,” he said.

Meanwhile, Major Basil Jarrett, president of the JC Old Boys Association said the association was pleased and encouraged by the results and anxiously anticipates a similar resolution for other disputed grades.

“Jamaica College has turned the corner with our academics for sometime now and are back to being an academic powerhouse. So, we are always delighted whenever we get such demonstrations of the great work that Wayne Robinson and his team are doing in the classroom,” Major Jarrett said.


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