Some not happy with CSEC gradesThursday, September 24, 2020
BY ALICIA DUNKLEY-WILLIS
THE Ministry of Education, in the wake of complaints from students and parents regarding perceived irregularities in the just-released Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exams, says it is investigating the concerns.
The preliminary report and analysis of the exams showed that 76.5 per cent of Jamaican students were awarded grades one to three in the subjects sat this year.
However, a number of individuals yesterday took to social media, calling for the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) to detail how grades were awarded because of the inconsistencies. Furthermore, in instances where papers would have involved a speed test that was not administered this year because of the circumstances created by the coronavirus pandemic, some parents wanted to know how that component of the grade was accounted for.
Yesterday, Acting Chief Education Officer Dr Kasan Troupe, responding to a question posed by the Jamaica Observer, said the ministry was aware of the concerns.
“A few of our students have reported that there are some inconsistencies with their results, so we have been having dialogue with our local registrar at the Overseas Examination Commission (OEC) and we will be collecting those information from our schools. It will be researched and whatever needs to be done in the best interest of our students will be done,” Dr Troupe said.
She added: “From time to time we have some of these challenges and there is a method in place for treating with all of these, so we are assuring our parents and our students these will be addressed and the best decision will be taken in their interest. As we said before these results are preliminary and so detailed reviews will be done before the final results is published.”
On Tuesday the CXC, for the first time, released results to students and ministries of education around the region simultaneously to, it said, give the candidates the opportunity to access their results in a timely manner. It was also to give students the opportunity to engage tertiary institutions of their choices immediately to complete their matriculation, given the delays caused by the pandemic to the sitting of the exams as well as the threat of tropical storms.
Typically the exams are offered in January for re-sit and private candidates and in May/June for in-school and private candidates. The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the May/June sitting to July. Other changes included the administration of at least one common paper (Paper 1), a multiple choice assessment that was combined with School Based Assessments (SBAs) and Paper 032 for private candidates. It also included an award of final grades based on the modified SBA and multiple choice assessment.
However, some candidates were expected to complete additional components in areas of modern languages, human and social biology and visual arts.
Yesterday, Education Minister Fayval Williams, addressing a press briefing put on by the ministry, said the 2020 results cannot be compared with those of 2019, given the circumstances.
The minister noted that there were 233,723 subject entries from all Jamaican candidates. Of this, she said that 167,469 students were awarded grades one to three.
The total subject entries for males were 93,093, of which 85,087 were sat and 63,395 attained the required grades of one to three, Williams said.
The total subject entries for females were 140,630, of which 133,739 were sat, and 104,074 attaining grades one to three.
Williams noted further that in the area of mathematics and English language, the percentage passes were 55.6 per cent and 83.9 per cent, respectively.