Since School was closed on March 13 ,2020 and CSEC and CAPE exams were roughly scheduled to start around May 11 it means that students would have lost about two months of preparation. I have considered the proposal by the CXC body to have a multiple-choice examination and a Paper 3 and SBA’s for private candidates and school students respectively.
I contend that the multiple-choice exam is a watering down of the proper evaluation of students and that the full Paper 1, Paper 2 and Paper 3 exams should be set as normal.
My proposal is that all secondary schools should be properly sanitised and only CSEC and CAPE students should be admitted for the period of two months, which were lost, in preparation for the examinations.
Students and all school personnel should wear their masks and practice social distancing where possible. The first row of desks in each class should be vacant and only one student should be assigned to a desk. The class size should, therefore, be reduced by at least 50 per cent.
Since the whole school is empty, except for the examination students, then there should be sufficient classrooms available to accommodate all. At the end of the two month period, examinations should begin with the same time sequence as was proposed in May 2020.
For this to happen, the Ministry of Education should request all schools to be opened during the first week of June, for CSEC and CAPE students only, for sanitization and preparation. Following this, eight weeks of classes should be held to prepare students for the exams. Examinations should then be held during the second week of August.
Students would be examined in all the papers as normally set and hopefully, results would be released sometime in September/ October.
This method would require CSEC and CAPE teachers to come out during the month of July and maybe one week in August.
Why not? Students would be properly prepared for the examinations and would have recaptured the time lost as a result of the COVID closure .
This additional time would allow students to finish their SBA’s with the assistance of their teachers. WHY NOT?