In the last decade or two we have seen several areas transition to online businesses ranging from reading to customer service to research and governance. While some aspects of education are already online there is the CSEC Examinations that some parts of the region are already engaged in via the internet. Antigua’s Minister of Education who is in-country, Michael Brown spoke on the e-testing initiative.
“Now you have a situation where CSEC is moving towards e testing. It’s even more timely for the region. In several countries it started in January of this year so several countries and as a matter of fact I know that in Antigua and Barbuda there were certain aspects of the CSEC online exams that were already in progress. What we asked is for CSEC to give us more time because our students the majority and especially those from economically vulnerable neighborhoods who would not have had a computer at home for most of them, to give us more time so that we can get students up to date especially with the typing skills and their familiarity with the computers because most tertiary institutions don’t teach typing anymore.”
Belize’s Education Minister, Patrick Faber spoke on where our country is in regard to the CSEC E-testing.
“The CSEC folks did come to Belize and did indicate to us that they are intending to go online with even the exams. Now in conversation with colleagues and what is happening in other countries where it was piloted there are a lot of issues including the fact that you need the actual hardware for this to be done, that may have been the primary reason why we did not engage in the pilot here in Belize but it is something that is unavoidable and it will come so we will start to make steps to ensure that we are ready. We were discussing this morning some of the difficulties that other territories are facing. One of the issues that came up was how is it that students for instance, who don’t know how to type will enter in all of this information even if they have the best computers and not all of our students are taught how to type in high school. Some take EDPM but not all of them become that proficient and so that is another issue that we have to look at because they may well have the content knowledge but they may not be able to get it into the computer in a timely manner and that will certainly affect their scores. So it’s not as easy as one would think without looking at those details and so it is something that will require preparation on our part and it is going to come so it is wise for us to start making those preparations now.”
According to the CXC website, the electronic testing is geared at bringing regional learners up to speed with worldwide test-taking practices and provide them with the flexibility to interact with images, video, audio and other resources during their examinations. The electronic testing format, according to CXC, will adhere to world-class security standards which will guarantee the integrity of the test taking. The Council reportedly launched this platform for all January 2017 Caribbean Secondary Education Certification (CSEC) multiple choice exams.