Education Ministry suspends CSEC, CAPE moderation


In this August 2020 file photo, Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, top right, congratulates SEA students of Gandhi Memorial Vedic Primary School after the exam.

The Education Ministry has suspended moderation of School-Based Assessments for on-site moderated subjects for the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) examination until May 23.

In a release on Monday, the ministry said, “The suspension is in keeping with the ministry’s mandate to support protocols implemented by the Ministry of Health which seeks to limit face-to-face activities during the period of May 10-23.”

It said the moderation exercise will resume on May 24 and schools will be advised of rescheduled dates for the moderation exercise for respective subjects.

The release came a day after Education Minister Nyan Gadsby-Dolly told Newsday the ministry was concerned about the well-being of every citizen – students, moderators, teachers.

“None is excluded. It is for this reason Government is taking and will take all necessary measures to get (covid19 infection) numbers down, and allow the administration of the examinations. This is not being left to hope and chance, the situation is being actively monitored and action taken where required.”

She was responding to statements made by Tabaquite MP Anita Haynes who urged that moderators for the CSEC exam be allowed to defer their work until July to curb their chances of catching the virus.

Teachers internally mark their pupils’ school-based assessment (SBA) exercises, and the ministry sends moderators to check the fairness/consistency of these marking exercises, by themselves observing samples of pupil labs/scripts at various schools.

In a release on May 7, the TT United Teachers Association (TTUTA) called on the Education Ministry to halt the moderation of CSEC and CAPE subjects.

“Overtures must be made to the Caribbean Examinations Council to have the necessary adjustments and flexibility applied. In this pandemic, it must not be ‘business as usual.’ By the same token, TTUTA expects that a humanitarian lens will be used and no non-teaching staff are expected to be on the school compound.”

TTUTA said it will not have its members or any educational professional on the school compound.

“No task at this time is more important than life. It is not expected that any student will be out of school for any reason. Neither must any student visit any home or any other establishment to receive classes or lessons. Work from home arrangements must not be an attempt to transpose what happens in the physical space into the virtual context.

“Attempts must not be made to randomly implement “new” guidelines for curriculum delivery in order to compensate for the inability of some teachers to go to school to use the internet as some of them are doing. Neither is any demand to be made for any teacher to go to schools to deliver or collect packages of work.”

TTUTA said no officers of the Student Services Support Division would be visiting schools to engage students. It said School Supervisors and Curriculum officers should be working from home.

The union said it will defend its members and educators against any bullying or intimidatory tactics, to force educators to compromise their health and safety.

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