Amidst widespread complaints of examination results this year, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of T&T (PCTT) Rev Joy Abdul-Mohan is calling on the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) to waive its US$30 query fee.
Saying CXC’s integrity was at stake if it failed to address perceived anomalies with the CXC, CAPE and CSEC Examinations June/ July 2020 results, Abdul-Mohan said it would be unfair for students to have to pay to query their grades.
“Given the widespread discrepancies, we believe that CXC cannot adopt the same approach for queries by demanding the payment of the normal USD$30 fee. Therefore, a waiver must be given in the present economic climate,” she said.
Noting that teachers and students were disturbed by the “curiously inconsistent results,” Abdul-Mohan said the way CXC has handled the matter was “disappointing and disturbing.”
“We are disappointed by the lack of empathy, transparency, and compassion shown by CXC news conference held on September 25th 2020 in Barbados. The panel addressed the Caribbean wide dissatisfaction and numerous press releases, letters and social media complaints from the Member States and individuals in a dismissive manner by saying they received ‘no formal complaints.’ We are disturbed and disheartened by such a response,” she said.
As the denominational body which is responsible for the education and welfare of thousands of students through its several Secondary schools across Trinidad, Abdul-Mohan said the PCTT was “very concerned with the plight of the many students who were affected by this year’s results.”
She said if the matter was not handled well, there could be a loss of trust and confidence in CXC.
“We have always staunchly supported CXC but if tertiary institutions lose faith in the systems of CXC, the impact on our future generation will be devastating,” she said.
Abdul-Mohan added, “The integrity of the entire education system is at stake and therefore demands a commensurate level of engagement, transparent re-assessment and review.”
She also said that the discrepancies were “too broad-based to ignore.”
“It would appear, that the grading of examination scripts and the scrutiny or supervision of same by CXC lacks the requisite level of transparency, accountability, and safeguards to ensure the results are beyond question,” she added.
Praising Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly for taking up the matter with CXC, Abdul-Mohan said, “We wish to remind CXC that when there is a loss of trust and confidence in the system, a sense of hopelessness can emerge. The emotional toll of this can be disastrous in the already strained conditions of a pandemic.”
She explained that this was not the first year there have been discrepancy issues, adding that CXC had assured that measures were put in place to alleviate such problems.
She also asked students to look beyond the disappointment adding that citizens should continue praying for the wellbeing of these students and their parents.