128 CSEC reviews remain outstanding – Education Minister

…468 grades changed

Education Minister
Priya Manickchand

One hundred and twenty-eight Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) grades of Guyanese students are yet to be reviewed by the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), after they were submitted last year by the Education Ministry owing to concerns raised by students regarding their performances.
Education Minister Priya Manickchand on Wednesday addressed the issue during a press conference as many students were frustrated by the current delay. CXC, which is headquartered in Barbados, has not been able to complete all reviews owing to the complete COVID-19 lockdown in the country. A total of 12,009 students sat the CSEC examinations last year and 1258 grades were sent for review. Some 468 grades have been changed, but 674 remained unchanged.
The Minister also gave a status report for the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) results, revealing that 33 grades were outstanding.
CXC has completed some 90 per cent of the reviews for Guyana. Manickchand said they have continued engagements with the entity about the delays, and reiterated that top performers could not be named until all grade reviews were completed. This was to ensure that students whose reviews were yet to be completed would not be disenfranchised.
“We continue to speak to CXC. Frankly, I speak with CXC quite frequently. Sometimes, we’re talking to them daily…There are students with outstanding reviews that could change that picture, so if we were to make an announcement, it would be very clumsy,” the Minister expressed.
The review was initiated after students across the Caribbean made formal requests for their grades to be rechecked, owing to inconsistencies. The Council had committed to complete the process by January 2021, but this was not achieved owing to the present lockdown at the Barbados headquarters.
Guyana’s examination division has raised concerns about the untimely completion of this process, and CXC has since indicated that the last update to the results was made on January 29. Candidates can access the Student Portal to view their results.
Students received their preliminary results through the CXC Student Portal since September 2020. The Ministry, since the queries and challenges to grades were first aired, has been updating and advising all stakeholders of CXC’s decisions and outcomes of this process.
Recently, the Education Ministry had clarified that a decision was taken to re-examine ‘borderline’ cases. This category includes candidates with scores that fell within a small range to attain a better grade. These were done even for candidates who did not request a review.
“We know for each student who wrote these exams, this is probably the most important thing happening in their lives and they want closure and to move on, even to higher education. We are working closely with CXC and being very firm in our recommendations and advice and our vote whenever we are asked to exercise one, with a view to ensuring our students never have to face this level of uncertainty again,” the Ministry had assured.
The University of Guyana has since waived some of its requirements in order to ensure that enrolling students are not affected by this delayed process. (G12)