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Education Minister Anthony Garcia

Education Minister Anthony Garcia has confirmed there was a smooth start to the Caribbean Examinations Council’s Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) yesterday.

Speaking to Guardian Media, Garcia said they had worked hard to ensure that all schools were ready for the exams. He said school supervisors had been visiting secondary schools “sometime ago and ensured that they got first hand information on how the schools would operate.”

“They interacted with principals and other senior officials of the school and were satisfied that things were put in place so that the restrictions that have been imposed on the advice of the Ministry of Health were adhered to in all cases,” he said.

Garcia explained that this meant that all social distancing guidelines and protocols were followed and there were no more than a dozen students in any one classroom used. According to Garcia the number of children depended on the size of the classroom.

“Older classrooms are smaller and the newer ones are larger and can accommodate more,” he said.

Garcia said the report sent to the Director of School Supervision yesterday was that “all went well and there were no hiccups. We are happy that the first day of CSEC and CAPE went very well.”

Minister Garcia said they were “very pleased that everything went well,” and he is looking forward to the trend continuing as the exams continue until mid-August.

Yesterday, students doing CAPE had the French and Spanish Units 1 and 2, while CSEC had French 3 (General), Spanish 3 (General), Portuguese 3 (General) and Music 2 (General).

The exams were originally scheduled to start in May but the timetable had to be revised because of the COVID-19 restrictions.