Every year, thousands of students write their CXCs. Personally, I hated the entire experience. I did 11 subjects, and although I do not regret the quantity, as it allowed me to acquire a scholarship, I would never redo the experience even if you paid me. I’ve hated exams my entire life. Why do teachers have to test my knowledge? Can’t they just take my word for it that I understand the material? I wish life were that easy.
It’s no longer acceptable for students to acquire five subjects, you need at least 10 to be taken seriously these days. Do you know what it’s like to do that many exams? Each subject is often split into two exams, done on separate days. My eleven subjects were split into 22 exams plus two oral exams as I did two foreign languages, that gives me a total of 24 exams. It’s seven years later and I still wish someone would shoot me, rather than do those exams again. So, trust me when I tell you I know the struggle, I mean I know the struggle intimately. I remember it so well, that even as I type I can feel the anxiety creeping into my fingers, even my chest feels unsettled.
I’ll be honest with you, it never occurred to me to cheat on my CXCs, even though I understand the appeal. Frankly, it just didn’t seem possible, so the thought never even entered my mind. This year, a class in Trinidad was caught cheating on their CXC Mathematics examination. I was not shocked to find out that students cheated on their exams, the world will never be short of dishonesty after all. Nevertheless, do you know what I did find upsetting? The way they were caught cheating. These nincompoops decided to record themselves cheating, and UPLOAD it to social media.
If I had a child caught in this scandal, I wouldn’t punish them for cheating, I’d punish them for being so stupid. I’d punish them for having so little common sense, they couldn’t even cheat properly. After all, if you’re going to do something bold and daring, do it properly.
The Caribbean Examinations Council has not given an official decision, as at the time I am writing this article. The worst outcome of this situation is the possibility that ALL students will have to redo the examination. I’m not even affected, and I’m outraged. Why should every student in the Caribbean who took that exam have to suffer twice, for a classroom of cheaters? The students who didn’t cheat would not have been affected by the videos, as the exam was done the same day, at the same time. This entire ordeal is preposterous and unfair to all the other honest students. I really don’t understand the logic of such a decision, I hope the rumours are false.
Cheaters will always try to cheat. However, we must take caution in our quest for justice, lest we punish those who are innocent. Punish the cheaters and leave the other students alone, they’ve suffered enough.