Caribbean teachers objected to the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) decision to conduct the CSEC and CAPE examinations as “a full-blown exercise” this year.
The Caribbean Union of Teachers (CUT), the umbrella organisation for teachers’ unions around the region, said CXC should “rationalise” the examinations to reflect the current educational environment, which has been undermined by the COVID-19 pandemic and volcanic activity in St Vincent.
The CUT also requested a meeting with the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) and CXC, as well as education minister s from around the Caribbean to discuss what is in the best interest of all concerned, primarily the students.
“The CUT is of the view that the COHSOD and CXC made some decisions that are likely to impact students and the region negatively,” a media release said.
“Having consulted with educators and other stakeholders in the region on Thursday, April 8 that got the overwhelming support of stakeholders of all CARICOM states, our organisation is convinced that the approach by CXC to handling the examination challenges posed by the (COVID-19) pandemic has created some uneasiness and a high level of anxiety among stakeholders of the education sector.”
The CUT balked at what is described as CXC’s “business-as-usual manner” and considered the exam body’s decision “unfair”.
“It is inconceivable that CXC would want to conduct the 2021 examinations as a full-blown exercise in a period of tremendous challenges to Caribbean societies, families, education systems and individual students,” the CUT media release said.
“It becomes even more for students in countries such as St Lucia, Barbados and Grenada (that) are currently affected by the volcanic activity underway in St Vincent. Would it be feasible and just to have examinations within such a context? It, therefore, renders the entire process unfair for the students of the region.”
The CUT termed CXC’s offer to students of a deferral for one year “inadequate” and will bring more anguish to affected students.