This petition aims to create a more equitable examination structure for Caribbean students

This petition aims to create a more equitable examination structure for Caribbean students

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Rhyesa Joseph started this petition to Caribbean examination council

Petition to Alter CXC and CAPE Examination Structures in 2021

In 2020 the Caribbean Examination Council made the decision in what was an unprecedented time to alter its examinations which saw in many instances students sitting the paper one (multiple choice) of varied subjects. Regrettably and unethically students and their parents were never reimbursed for the payment of the other examination papers, neither were those payments used to facilitate the free review of grading results throughout the region that were irregular. 

Globally and regionally, we recognized that as 2020 ended and ushered in a new year, many acute socio-economic conditions remained the same and in several instances intensified.  The education sector does not exist in a bubble and as such was not spared the malaise of this pandemic, which also exposed a series of inequalities.

The challenges of student hunger and differentiated learning abilities, were compounded by the absence of a digital learning strategy and resources, issues of digital literacy and the carnival of trauma of changes from multiple spaces inclusive of the home and school environments. 

Students have been shuffled from the physical classroom to the virtual classroom, with little if any transition time creating discomfort, anxiety and fatigue. Despite their use and familiarity with social media for leisure on apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp, they were nomads with respect to information and communication technologies for education. 

Those who had devices, often shared them with younger siblings minimizing digital learning time. This situation was further worsened by shoddy internet service or the absence of internet at home. In essence, digital 'learning' took place as a result of crisis and not as a result of strategic planning, research and evaluation. 

Moreover, the digital classroom merged with the responsibilities and challenges of home life. Parental unemployment, caregiving for younger siblings, household duties and changing social circumstances regarding covid-19 all contributed to an atypical learning environment.

It was therefore, alarming to read CXC's report in December of 2020 that indicated there would have been no changes to it's examination structure.

According to UNESCO, two thirds of the academic year was lost due to the pandemic. As we have witnessed across the Caribbean since the beginning of January 2021 partial lockdowns and closures of schools will undoubtedly exacerbate this situation. 

This petition therefore endeavours to have CXC alter it's decision in keeping it's examinations unaltered not merely as an administrative imperative, but as a matter of duty of care to Caribbean youth, trauma informed tutelage, ethical leadership and responsible regional governance. Let us demonstrate in more tangible ways the meaning of, and utility of our regionalism. One crucial change for instance, should be the ability to choose question options on papers rather than having mandatory questions in subjects whose content is omnibus. 

 

Regional governments, ministries of education, students and their representative organizations, parents, youth organisations, members of the business community and other citizens this is also your concern, and your engagement is urgently needed. Social justice begins at home and must include education. 

This petition therefore endeavours to lobby CXC and garner the support of relevant regional authorities and stakeholders to alter CXC's examination stance . 

Support of this petition will ensure that Caribbean youth will have a more equitable chance at social mobility, and will receive a quality and ethical educational service. It is an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to youth development, sustainable development and the value we place on our human resources. It is necessary to facilitate a transformation in leadership and action, at a time that beckons that we do not resort to business as usual in an unprecedented time. 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
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