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Principal: Review CXC marking
Principal of Fatima College Fr Gregory Augustine is calling for a review of the marking at the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) after the school recorded the “worst marks”—a 30 per cent failure— in English Literature at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC).
Augustine, who was speaking at the school’s prize giving ceremony held yesterday, said, “There is a serious concern. From our information the reason why the results were released late this year was because the Literature was kept back. There was not sufficient markers... they had to get more markers and so on. But this is not peculiar to Fatima.
“Our literature results at CSEC in all the years....we have been doing Literature as a compulsory subject for over 20 years and this was the worst results we have ever had,” Augustine said. He said the 70 per cent pass rate was not acceptable as the school’s standards which was over 90 per cent.
“We do Literature and English Language as compulsory subjects and we have found that over these years that Literature helps in the Language results as all our students get ones in the Language.
“Literature is a more difficult subject but the students do well. Definitely something went awry this way,” Augustine said. Augustine said there was a meeting with Education Minister Anthony Garcia just before the opening of the September school term during which several other school principals had expressed similar concerns.
On the response from the ministry Augustine said Garcia was “well aware” of the issue adding that schools were still awaiting a response.
Augustine said some parents quarried the results but “many came back as the same.”
“So what CXC is doing is they are not remarking. They are simply re-tallying so see if there was a mistake in the tallying of the marks,” Augustine said.
Asked whether the poor results could be attributed to the teachers Augustine said “certainly not.”
On CXC’s performance as a making institution Augustine said there were financial constraints and many changes taking place.
“And we understand that. We are living in challenging economic times. They are doing some adjustments but we don’t want to compromise the integrity of the exam and this is our concern as educators.
“In all your reviews and changes and attempts to make the exams more friendly for students and for markers you don’t want to affect the integrity of the exam,” Augustine said.
Garcia who was present during the ceremony yesterday said while there were discussions with CXC it was yet to be deciphered what was the problem.
He said it was not possible that the marks could be changed at this point. The minister also expressed similar sentiments regarding CXC’s marking system saying it must be ensured that T&T students were not placed at a disadvantaged.