The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) is a Caribbean institution. As Caribbean nationals, we should insist that the integrity of Caribbean institutions be protected. If our institutions provide a high-quality product, their integrity is automatically protected.
CXC has one main product – its examinations. There are three basic components of that product. Namely, a syllabus of information for students to understand, an examination that tests the students’ understanding of that syllabus, and correcting and scoring the examinations.
The students are responsible for understanding the syllabus of information, and doing the examination.
The most critically important part of CXC’s product, is correcting and scoring the exams. Therefore, CXC’s integrity is measured by the quality of its examiners.
Qualified examiners provide confidence in the integrity of CXC’s product, on which its reputation is sustained. The minimum academic qualification required to correct and score CXC examinations, is a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.
Students studying for a Bachelor’s degree may assist teachers to present and correct tutorials. But they are not qualified to correct CXC secondary school examinations. If they did, then that is the root cause of the current dissatisfaction, and no confidence can be placed in the results of those examinations.
If the CXC Board approved the use of first-degree university student examiners, then that is a regional scandal that can damage CXC’s reputation as a provider of quality examinations.
The obvious solutions are two-fold. First, qualified examiners must review all the examinations corrected and scored by unqualified examiners. Second, CXC should mandate that they will never use unqualified examiners to correct or score CXC examinations in the future.
If CXC maintains its secrecy on whether they used first-degree student examiners, and if they insist on using unqualified examiners in the future, then they would have damaged the integrity of the CXC examinations, and the reputation of the regional institution.
The Ministry of Education needs to tell the CXC Board to come clean. If they do not, then another examination body, with more integrity, should be used until they do.