Ministry of Education, Guyana

Sunday, 07 February 2021 12:34

Ministry of Education's response to letter on CAPE and CSEC 2020 results published in today's Stabroek News

The Ministry of Education wishes to respond to a letter published in today's Stabroek News titled ‘We urge Ministry of Education to ensure release of Official CAPE and CSEC results’.
First and foremost we understand the frustration of parents and students about the delayed results and the anxiety this level of uncertainty regarding the finality of the results brings. However, the contents of this letter are grossly inaccurate and misleading, and the writers seem to be misinformed.

1. The Ministry of Education, Guyana, do NOT review CAPE and CSEC results. The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) is the sole body responsible for this process.

2. An official release by the Ministry of Education cannot be done until the review process is completed by CXC, and this process is ongoing. Additionally, top performers cannot be officially determined and released due to this incomplete process. Under ordinary circumstances the Ministry would let the nation know of the unofficial results as soon as they get them in or around August of every year. This year however, almost as soon as the results were announced there was mass complaints and the Ministry announced that it would hold its hand as it worked with CXC to have the students’ queries addressed and answered.

3. The Ministry of Education, through the Examinations Department and indeed through the person of the Minister herself, has been continuously demanding a timely and expeditious end to this process, as have all the other Caribbean territories.

4. Students received their preliminary results through the CXC Students’ portal since September 2020. Most with review requests have also received their change of grades/profiles where granted, through the same portal.

The Ministry of Education, from the inception of queries and challenges to grades, has been updating and advising all stakeholders of CXC’s decisions and outcomes of this process.
So, to say the Ministry is silent, indifferent is totally untrue, inaccurate and perhaps mischievous.
Kindly find below an outline of the review process and positions by CXC.
Immediately after the preliminary release of CAPE and CSEC results for June 2020 by CXC, request for queries and reviews were made and demanded by candidates and other stakeholders across the Caribbean. Guyana was no exception. Indeed, Guyana may have been one the first countries that engaged CXC officially and made public announcements about the Government’s position. CXC accepted these requests and commenced a review process, which is incomplete.

The process included:

  • The Ministry of Education, Schools and Individual candidates made requests for reviews
  • CXC commenced these requested reviews, and subsequently, after tremendous pressure and demands for clarity on their grading system used for 2020, decided to also review ‘borderline’ cases.
    ‘Borderline’, as explained by CXC, means 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.
  • Candidates received grade/profile changes through CXC’s student portal, to which each student has access.
  • CXC is still in the process of reviews, saying to date they have completed approximately 96% of reviews Caribbean wide. A commitment by CXC to complete this process by the end of January 2021 failed. They are presently in a lockdown due COVID-19 since their headquarters is in Barbados.
  • In a meeting held on January 27, 2021, the Examinations Division raised the concern of the untimely completion of this process. CXC has since indicated that the last update to the results was made on January 29, 2021. Candidates can access the Student Portal to view their results.

Again, it must be noted that as a result of this incomplete process, top performers from Guyana and the Caribbean cannot be determined and released officially. For us to do same, we may end up being reckless if when the review is completed, other students are shown to have done better.

The Examinations Department, Ministry of Education, is committed to bring closure to this process and to ensure all stakeholders are informed as updates are received from CXC. One must appreciate, however, that it is the CXC body that has to both finish the process and award grades. Not the Ministry of education of any part thereof.

We understand just how frustrating this is for students and parents. 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.

Thank you.
Ameer Ali
Examinations Department
Ministry Of Education
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