The Caribbean Examinations Council today presented the regional results of students’ performance in the CSEC and CAPE exams, which were administered earlier in the year. At the CAPE level, more than 90 percent of students who sat papers in Caribbean studies, communication studies, the two units of sociology, biology and chemistry received grades one to five, which are considered acceptable. However, both the numbers of students and the number of tests they took significantly decreased overall. In 2020, just over thirty thousand students across the Caribbean sat close to one hundred and twenty thousand tests, but this year, the number of candidates fell to just under twenty-eight thousand, who sat about one hundred ten thousand papers. Doctor Nichole Manning, the council’s director of operations spoke about the special cases where school-based assessments were deferred.
Dr.Nichole Manning, Director of Operations, CXC: “We reduced the requirements for specific subjects given COVID-19 and specifically I’m speaking about the modern languages. So we had to give particular consideration for that. Thirdly we also delayed examinations by six weeks and further we would have delayed the submission of the SBAs also by six weeks. We also had a new level of flexibility and I know this was particularly appreciated by our local registrars and our centers in relation to the onsite moderation that is usually done for our science and more physically related subjects and that would have been extended to the thirty first of July. In addition to that we would have released topics to candidates for paper two five weeks in advance of the examinations that were administered in June/July. And for the first time we would have introduced a facility known as a deferral to candidates who may not have felt that they were ready to sit exams in 2021 and this they had the opportunity to defer all the subjects they were registered for or some and they could have done it over two periods: January 2022 for sitting as well as June 2022. In addition to that we also extended and opportunity for these candidates to give proper consideration to their selection and so we gave a further extension for them to go through this particular process. Last but not least we also would have indicated to them that we’re giving them an opportunity, and again for the first time, to accept SBAs in January 2022.”
Doctor Manning added that there was an increase in irregularities, including students who took cellular phones in the testing centres but also noted that the pandemic also caused an upsurge in hardships.
Dr.Nichole Manning, Director of Operations, CXC: “Hardships come in different forms. Sometimes candidates may, especially given COVID-19, we would have attributed the 78% increase for CAPE and 638% increase for CSEC we would have attributed this to a lot of and seen a lot of this because of COVID-19. Some of it is directly affected the candidates and some of it affected their parents. It is with deep regret and even condolences to the families that would have been affected by COVID-19 the Caribbean Examinations Council would want to extend condolences because we d id see a lot of reports coming in because even death of parents and guardians. So we took this into consideration and none of these candidates would have been disadvantaged, we made sure that we took care of that.”
At the CSEC level, 74 percent of students who sat papers in English A received a grade three or better while it was just 61 percent for English B. Mathematics was at forty-one percent with grade three or better while each of the sciences were above sixty percent.