MEDIA STATEMENT RE CXC’s STATEMENT, RE – 2021 EXAM PLANS
Apologies for my misquoting Jesus’ parable, but today’s statement from CXC, where they are attempting to appear responsive to the conditions emanating from the current La Soufriere eruption, is nothing more than ‘old wine in new wineskins‘. It appears to be disinformation: an apparent misrepresentation (error at best?) of the exact same information provided publicly in Feb, March and April *before the eruption of the La Soufriere volcano*.
We truly empathise with our fellow CARICOM family in St Vincent & The Grenadines, and we stand ready to support them in any way possible as they endure this current volcanic crisis. Imagine our horror to learn that CXC appears to be using the trauma of SVG to paint themselves in a favourable light! How reprehensible!
CXC is attempting to turn the page and proceed with business as usual, after the 2020 Exam Result fiasco. We will not let them, and we hold CXC, and by extension CARICOM, accountable to us, their constituents.
We have tried the respectful route and given the CXC grade review process time to work for nearly 7 months in good faith . Only Approx 2% of grades have been changed; there is still no no accountability or transparency re the 2020 grading process, to which we are *entitled*. We therefore fear a similar disaster in 2021. CXC’s Communications, proper engagement and evidence of improved quality assurance remain lacking, despite the IRT recommendations of October.
CXC’s 2021 Exam plans give no real benefit nor consideration to the students’ plight; and any changes are merely cosmetic, contrary to what has obtained in the UK, Europe and North America. Do not our children do deserve the same level of care and concern?
Think of our children and their teachers and what they are enduring as they prepare for the 2021 In-person exams the students are being forced to take (or defer their academic plans for an entire year in the case of CAPE Students) within the context of the emotional, mental, economic and health trauma of the ‘perfect storm’ of the 2020 Exam Grading Fiasco, online schooling for more than a year, with 30% minimum reduction of the academic year, and the myriad other pandemic challenges. CXC’s callousness and lack of consideration must end. Other public exam bodies have demonstrated clear organisational ethics in their consideration of their students, particularly during this pandemic crisis.
We in Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago feel disrespected as well: unlike what obtained in Jamaica and Guyana (when CXC tried to stop of our regional press conference of 10 December and their embarassment therein) Dr Wesley has never reached out to and met with student, parent and other education stakeholders. Sir Hilary has not made any public statements since October that we are aware of!
If today’s statement from CXC was the attempt by their comms department at ‘damage control’ crisis comms, which was one of the myriad (apparently unused) recommendations of their own IRT in October :
CXC’s apparent misrepresentation of their so-called ‘responsiveness’ in their statement today is reprehensible, unconscionable and unacceptable and the ultimate in #FakeNews (much as I hate to use a Trumpism; but they are acting like Trump. It is a sad continuation of their suboptimal behaviour and it why many of us nationally and regionally have lost confidence and trust in them.
CXC appears to be playing us, and the wider CARICOM public, for fools! Do we not pay their bills?
Who holds CXC accountable ? Is CARICOM merely CXC’s rubber stamp? Is CXC the tail wagging the CARICOM dog?
We therefore repeat our call for an independent ‘watchdog’ (similar to OFQUAL in the UK) with oversight over CXC, as CARICOM seems unable or unwilling to do so, which we requested in the CUT webinar of 7th April. This will enable an audit of CXC’s processes, including performance targets and measures, corporate governance, technical output, communications and stakeholder management, accountability and transparency, thereby ensuring that CXC’s clear corporate challenges are ameliorated for the betterment of our children and society, and also the betterment ultimately of CXC and the CARICOM region.