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(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — A petition circulating is calling for all students to re-sit the 2019 CSEC Maths exams following serious breaches of the examination regulations.
This has left students in limbo, with many expressing anger, worry and sadness over that possibility.
While the Ministry of Education and the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) are investigating the source of the leak which led to the widespread circulation of the examination papers, T&T Unified Teachers Association president Lynsley Doodhai is calling for a review of the process for hiring invigilators. He said under the current system invigilators are poorly paid and many were owed salaries from last year so the people who apply for the positions might not be of the best quality.
“If they upgrade the compensation paid that would assist in getting a better quality of invigilators. The video showed that they were unable to control the students. The invigilators need to be properly trained to deal with situations like these,” Doodhai said
“Those students,” he said, “should not have had phones on them. This contributed to people taking photos of the exam paper and forwarding it on WhatsApp, IG and Facebook.”
Asked if he believed students should re-do the exams, Doodhai said the students of Tranquillity Government Secondary who was seen cheating should be immediately disqualified.
“However, there is no need for everyone to be penalized. I can’t say how widespread the paper was circulated so I cannot make a recommendation in the absence of the final conclusion of investigations,” he said.
Maths teacher Kerwin Springer, who did a video on YouTube, said there appeared to be lots of irregularities. He said people were sending him pictures of the exam paper during the exams.
“This means there was a phone during the exams. I do not know the people who sent the pictures, so CXC don’t ask me anything.
“I don’t respond to that kind of thing. I will not help you cheat. If I help you to cheat and I get caught, I can’t help anybody so please don’t get me in trouble with the law. That is not my thing,” Springer said.
“It is unacceptable that people had cellphones during the exams. Some people were getting way too much extra time—30 minutes, 45 minutes extra time and an hour extra time is not fair to people who are fighting up. This happens a lot in prestige schools. I am seeing a lot of irregularities in schools.”
Education Minister Anthony Garcia said he has written to CXC in Barbados about the issue. He said CXC will decide whether the students will be given an alternative exam or be debarred from writing this or other exams. Students found guilty of misconduct or dishonesty can be disqualified and barred from entry to future examinations offered by CXC.
On its website, CXC said it has been made aware of a breach in examination security in T&T.
“At this time we are working closely with the Trinidad Ministry of Education to conduct an investigation surrounding the report. Appropriate corrective action will be taken quickly to reinforce existing security measures and to mitigate any potential impact,” CXC said.
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