In support of our CAPE students
Our Readers' Opinions
April 29, 2022

In support of our CAPE students

EDITOR: What mental health services will be provided after you have allowed Lower 6 (ages 16-17) CAPE 2022 students to be placed under severe anguish, unfathomable physical distress and untold mental strain?

In one country, secondary school students have spent approximately seven weeks at school for face-to-face instruction in preparation for their CAPE Unit 1 exams scheduled for next month. 

For those who do not know, Unit 2 of CAPE is completed in Upper 6 (17-18) as CAPE consists of two units over two years with two separate syllabuses and two separate exams. CSEC is a 2-year course of study which starts in 4th Form (14-15) and sees exams in 5th Form (15-16), by comparison. Unit 2 students had the benefit of last year’s experience when their Unit 1 exams began in June. That year’s experience still pushed many of their peers to venture off to technical and vocational studies, community college, UWI or the world of work instead of completing Unit 2.

Across the region, today, CAPE and CSEC candidates are in need of more time in order to complete the syllabus and ‘digest’ the material. I am disappointed but I am not surprised that good sense hasn’t prevailed. The Beckles stewardship model and the Wesleyan leadership style used by CXC do not endorse good sense.

Mses. Williams of Jamaica, McConney of Barbados, Gadsby-Dolly of Trinidad and Tobago, and Manickchand of Guyana, your countries are the major sources of candidates for CXC exams. Ladies, as Ministers of Education you need to challenge COHSOD to address the concerns of the students and teachers of the Caribbean where CXC is concerned with dutiful assiduity. If that fails, it is time enough to step out of your insular comfort zones and represent the children by all necessary and sufficient means.

Each one of the children matters and each one is not deaf or blind. Where education ends good sense should begin, not CXC exams.

May God help the Caribbean and its children. 

Paula Sealy