Is CXC failing its clients?
It is alleged that answers were leaked for the Caribbean Examinations Council paper two maths exam.

Dear Editor,

Allegations of leaked answers for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) mathematics paper two examination via TikTok and other social media platforms and similar news coming from my relative doing the exam the same day, no less, was disappointing.

Suffice to say, if the allegations are true, this is not the first instance and it won't be the last in which answers have emerged from the regional examination body without authorisation. It speaks to the lack of a principled, reputable, encryption system and the questionable integrity of the employees of this renowned institution.

As a result, I believe that the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) is slowly failing its clients, the students, by not ensuring that confidential information remains confidential, not addressing past non-conformances to reduce the occurrence of leaks, and not providing an atmosphere of equity for thousands of candidates.

A trip down memory lane reveals the leaking of the CSEC mathematics paper in Guyana in 2005 and the recent use of cellphones by Trinidadian students to share answers during an exam in 2019.

On a superficial level, though, students are simply looking to get the best grade possible; however, closer inspection of the root cause shows that students are oftentimes pressured to perform well beyond their competency level. The overbearing expectations of peers, parents, and teachers, as well as other stakeholders on their journey to success would encourage the most capable and impressionable students to cheat.

Counterintuitively, this also prods them to discard confidence in their own abilities to do well without assistance. Furthermore, students who learn to swindle at such a crucial stage in their lives may commit other crimes in the near future.

During recent discussions with my colleagues, it was suggested that we advocate for a novel approach to how students' competency levels are assessed. Since the answer scripts are often leaked, CXC may try a competency-based assessment (CBA) approach, which would override most of the grading criteria for theoretical assessment, with a touch of critical thinking tests across all subject areas. It can be challenging for candidates after they leave secondary school to transition into tertiary education or the world of work since easy ways to swat their material beforehand are common. Thus, it can be argued that a CBA approach can provide a window through which a nation of critical thinkers can be developed.

It may be necessary to shift the Caribbean region's perspective on classroom learning and slowly replace a possibly antiquated CSEC exam in the near future.

Dujean Edwards

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Which long-term investment option is more attractive to you at the moment?