The mother of a student who wrote the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) has been wearing white and driving around with a white ribbon tied to her car for the last two weeks in protest over the results.
Noting that schools locally and regionally have complained about low grades this year, Sherry Sookoo said that something has to be wrong.
She is calling on stakeholders and members of the public, in general, to show solidarity by joining her white campaign.
“We just want justice. Our students have worked long and hard and they deserve better than what has been dished out to them by CXC,” lamented Sookoo.
Sookoo said her daughter, a student of ASJA Girls’ College got distinctions in her examinations last year, but this year her results were horrible. Sookoo said they were expecting to get feedback yesterday from an independent review team set up by the Caribbean Examination Council to review the exam results.
But, yesterday morning some students received a shock when they logged onto the portal to review their grades.
“Unfortunately since 2 am we have students who logged on the portal and they are seeing that they have been downgraded. Needless to tell you, this morning the students, they are in a bigger mess than they were before. It’s crazy.”
The mother said they are requesting from CXC two things.
“We want to know what scheme, what weight did they use to mark these students’ papers and also we would like to see our children’s marks scripts. If they are saying that this is what it is and there are no changes. And another thing they are saying is that they did not mark any differently from all of the years gone by. But something is definitely wrong because this year we did not even have a paper two. We had a paper one which was MCQ and that is the easiest paper because of the fact that CXC has a bank of question papers that they have been using throughout the years. Students have had access to it, their teachers have gone through these multiple-choice questions lots of times.”
She said another issue is that CXC downgraded some of the marks that teachers gave for School-Based Assessments. “It’s a lot of discrepancies and all we are saying is that our students deserve to know exactly how did you mark our paper.”
Sookoo has since hand-delivered on behalf of the school the names of students, their grades and the predictive grades given by the school’s heads of departments, to the ministry. To her knowledge, most, if not all schools, also prepared a similar package.
As the representative body for schools in T&T, Sookoo is hoping that the ministry would put pressure on CXC on their behalf.
Sookoo has also written to Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, the CXC local representative and the CXC body in Barbados.