NSSC wants students included in decision making on CXC examsMonday, May 18, 2020
KINGSTON, Jamaica— The National Secondary Students' Council (NSSC) says student leaders should be included in the decision making process in regards to the sitting of Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) and Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) examinations in July.
The Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) announced earlier this month that the regional exams were pushed back to July in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jamaica withdrew its support of this, citing inequality of access to reliable Internet services for some students.
However, local high school principals, on Friday, voted in favour of the examinations being held in July/August as announced by CXC.
The NSSC said it is “saddened by the insistence of local secondary school principals that are in support of the July sitting”.
The council said it believes that the health and preparedness of many students has been compromised due to COVID-19.
“The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to increase in Jamaica. With this new reality the best interest of all public secondary students must be made a priority, whenever decisions are being made,” the council said in a statement.
“It is therefore paramount that the notion of the “one size fits all” approach be eliminated when tackling matters concerning students,” the statement added.
The NSSC said school administrators must provide a detailed plan outlining the protocols that will mitigate the risks to students during the examination process.
The following is a list of concerns that the council said needs to be addressed.
Will there be a contingency plan should a centre become the next cluster of the virus?
How equipped are the institutions in ensuring that the centres are adequately sanitized?
What is the plan of action for students who live on school campuses; ie boarding students?
What are the measures to be undertaken for students currently residing in communities that may be under community lock-down/quarantine as a result of the virus?
The council also called for clarification on whether special transportation arrangements will be made for students travelling to their respective exam centres.
The NSSC said other considerations include
Will temperature checks be done upon arrival at examination centres?
Will each centre be equipped with a medical official/ quarantine room in the event that a student is exhibiting symptoms?
Will the GOJ (Ministry of Health and Wellness/ Ministry of Education, Youth and Information) prepare a detailed plan in outlining the protocols to be observed by the institutions and by extension students traversing from their homes to the centre?
What measures will the secondary institutions put in place to accelerate the teacher-student interaction to finalise the Internal Assessments and completion of the respective syllabus?
The council said students' health and their level of preparedness should be the main concern during the decision making processes.
*Data mined from various sources around the world.
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