written by BVC March 14, 2021

In recognition of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to the education sector, candidates registered for CAPE®, CSEC® and CCLSC®  will sit these Exams during the period June/July 2021. Ministries of Education will receive the results in the last week of September.

CARICOM Ministers of Education reached those and other critical agreements for the Administration of the 2021 CAPE and CSEC Examinations, during the Twenty-Sixth Special Meeting of the CARICOM Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD)-Education  on Friday 26 February and Monday 1 March 2021. The Ministers considered a report from the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) on consultations it conducted with Ministries of Education on administration of the Exams.

Chair of the COHSOD, Hon Jeffery Lloyd, Minister of Education of The Bahamas, told a post meeting media briefing that after careful analysis and with consideration for the well-being of the students, the COHSOD also Hon Jeffery Lloyd agreed that the CXC® would administer the Examinations in their original formats. That is for CAPE® and CSEC®, Paper 01/02 and 03/2 for private candidates, and for CCSLC®, Papers 01 and 02. Another significant agreement of the COHSOD was the extension of the deadline by which students should signal their intention to defer the sitting of the exams. Candidates now have until 1 May 2021 to do so.

Minister Lloyd pointed out that in consideration of the learning loss associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, COHSOD agreed that CXC® should share with Ministries of Education, the broad topics for Paper 02, five weeks before the start of the examinations.

The COHSOD also agreed to extend the Matriculation Waiver  which the University of the West Indies (UWI) introduced in 2020. With the release of the CAPE Year Two results expected after the start of the UWI’s Academic Year 2021/2022, the waiver will allow it to consider CAPE candidates for admission, based on the Year 1 results.

With regard to the Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment, Minister Lloyd said CXC informed COHSOD it is scheduled for 27 – 28 May, and the results can be expected on 15 June. The period for the Online Training and Assessment Quality Audits for Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) is May to August 2021, based on agreement with individual participating territories, and Ministries of Education will receive the results in the last week of September, Minister Lloyd said.

He told the Media that the COHSOD “remains steadfast in its efforts to work closely with the CXC® to ensure that the messaging on the administration of regional examinations is consistent, accurate and unambiguous.” This is important, he stated, “to preserve the reputation of CXC and preserve the integrity and validity of examinations.” Minister Lloyd expressed appreciation to the CXC® for its efforts “to ensure the smooth transition and matriculation of the Region’s youth to the world of work and post-secondary or tertiary education.”

Recognising the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic on equitable access and continuity of learning, he said the Ministers made every effort in their deliberations to advocate for concessions for students. In this context, he noted that CARICOM Ministers “endorsed the recommendation to provide additional time for in-person teaching and learning to complete SBAs, close teaching gaps, and increase the chances of successful outcomes for students.”

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