As a former teacher of Literature and English at the tertiary level, I find it passing curious that the report of the words uttered by Dr Wayne Wesley, referred to in the Guardian as the CEO of the CXC organisation, saying in his own defence of the marking controversy for the CXC, CAPE and CSEC exams, “I think the notion is not true, as a matter of fact you have less people receiving less than acceptable grades,” Wesley said. (Saturday, September 26).
Surely someone capable of judging students’ competencies on their exam papers would know that “less” refers to quantity in the English Language, as in “less flour, less sugar”, and the term “fewer” refers to number, as in “fewer people” or “fewer than acceptable grades”? Surely, also, someone in such an exalted academic position would know that “all our data, all the things we have looked at” reflect a plural number and should be followed by a plural verb, that is “have” , not “has” as was reported in the article of the 26th?
Does that explain his insistence, also quoted in that article that he could “never agree to anomalies”? Surely that is what the grading system is there to look out for?
Thousands of teachers throughout the Caribbean are standing in their shoes and wondering.