April 30, 2021
Local students given new dates for CXC exams

Vincentian students will now sit Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations in July/August instead of June/July, and Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA) tests in late July of 2021 instead of late May.

Also, the Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC) examinations will be done four days after the CSEC examinations, while the audit for the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ), would now be done in October instead of August.

Minister of Education Curtis King, relayed this information to SEARCHLIGHT on Thursday and noted that the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) had pushed back their examinations in keeping with the challenges that the entire region is facing with COVID-19, but has now done further adjustments for St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), because of explosive eruptions of at La Soufriere.

“They had pushed back from regular hosting May/June to July, but after considering all the factors, we have asked that these exams be pushed to July/ August so a further delay in the commencement of these exams…,” King said.

He added also that while some things have been finalized, the Ministry of Education is nearing conclusion with regard to the discussions with CXC regarding the administration of the 2021 CXC examinations here.

King said that several meetings have been held with the various stakeholders, including principals of primary and secondary schools, teachers of grade six, and secondary school form five teachers, as well as the leadership of the teacher’s union, the educational advisory board and representatives from the St. Vincent Community College (SVCC).

“We have asked CXC to give special consideration to SVG against the backdrop of the explosive eruption of La Soufrière volcano which has added to the existing challenges that we have from COVID-19 and the dengue fever outbreak,” King said.

He noted that the discussions took into consideration the challenges that students have in dealing with examinations in 2021.

“We expressed that our students were overwhelmed in terms of the psychological and academic readiness and hence they be given special consideration.

“Of course the decisions we arrived at in terms of the proposals discussed with CXC were also done within the context of the available resources of CXC, the capacity of CXC to provide what we were requesting and very importantly, the need to maintain the integrity of the examinations,” the Education Minister said.

He noted that CXC will produce a parallel exam for SVG.

“In other words, they cannot give us the same exam, as that would interfere with the integrity of the paper if they give us the same paper.

“We have asked, and they will provide the topics to the students in advance- five weeks in advance of the examinations and that is available across the region,” King explained while noting that SVG will not get the topics the same time as the rest of the region as its exams come after everyone else’s.

He added also that the conditions negotiated so far are based on students receiving six to eight weeks of face to face instructions.

“So we set a conditional date for the recommencement of face to face instructions for form five and grade six in May so that the students can get some face to face instructions and of course, the school based assessments, SBAs, must be completed,” King added.