The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) is expected to respond today to a unanimous request by regional Ministers of Education for a waiver of examination review fees.
The request was made Monday as students and teachers across the region have queried results of this year’s Caribbean Secondary Entrance Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Exam (CAPE).
The minister making the request were from T&T, Jamaica, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, and Guyana.
Following a three-hour virtual media briefing hosted by CXC on Sunday, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced that her Government would foot the review bill of all Barbadian students who had made such requests.
CXC’s Registrar Dr Wayne Wesley had announced a 50 per cent reduction in review fees, which is customarily US$30 per review, bringing it down to US$15 per review.
During a political meeting on Sunday night, Mottley communicated her displeasure over the continuing saga which has affected hundreds of thousands of students across the region.
She said some parents could not afford to pay the price for the review.
Gadsby-Dolly said the just like Barbados, T&T also made a similar offer to cover the cost of the reviews for local students.
In a WhatsApp response, she said, “On Monday, T&T made the decision to pay. However, at Monday’s meeting with CXC, the Ministers of Education present requested that CXC consider a total waiver for all students, not just from the territories that could make such payments.”
Indicating their support for a waiver of all fees, Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) president Antonia Tekah-De Freitas yesterday rationalized that CXC had been paid to provide three exam components but that only two components had been administered following changes to the exam format as a result of the COVID-19 virus.
She explained, “A review is when you go through the papers and make sure all items are marked and all those marks tallied. A re-marking is when you actually do the paper over.”
“TTUTA would definitely support the call for a waiver because one of the points that regional teachers’ unions made to the Registrar of CXC a couple weeks ago, was that students paid for a certain amount of papers to be done and marked and that was not done. They only did two papers – the Paper 1 and the School-Based Assessments.”
She said CXC should now absorb the associated costs for a review.
Angry and frustrated over the perceived lack of action by the Ministry of Education, a small group of parents gathered outside the Red House at Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain on Monday, calling on the Government to take a decisive stance regarding the futures of their children which remains hanging in the balance.