There should be no SBA this yearThursday, April 29, 2021
The ban on face-to-face classes by the Government of Jamaica due to the novel coronavirus pandemic is, indisputably, causing great distress in grade 11 students and their teachers with regards to preparation of school-based assessments (SBAs) for Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) papers.
It is unfair to blame the Government for employing this measure as a way of saving lives and preventing the spread of the virus.
It is also public knowledge that the volcanic eruption in St Vincent has resulted in the displacement of many families, among them students slated to sit the upcoming Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations.
In view of the aforementioned scenarios, it is my recommendation that the CXC forgoes the SBA as an assessment criterion/tool for Jamaican and St Vincentian students for this year. After all, many University of Cambridge General Certificate of Education (GCE) examinations do not have any SBA component.
My recommendations is predicated on the negative psycho-social effects of COVID-19 on our students. Besides, in times of pressure and great stress, individuals can resort to illegal and immoral means of achieving their goals. This can be the situation with respect to the production of SBAs.
Alternatively, CXC could mandate Jamaican and St Vincentian students to sit paper 03, which is the alternative to the SBA.
It is necessary to state that our students are stressed by the effects of COVID-19 and concomitant restrictive measures. Therefore, no institution should add an ounce more of stress to their lives.
Ugochukwu Wilson Durueke
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