An entire class of 35 pupils from Rio Claro East Secondary have scored ungraded in two of their Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination subjects after their School-based Assessment (SBA) marks were not uploaded to the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC).
Some of the disappointed students yesterday journeyed to the Ministry of Education’s District Education Office in Rio Claro to query the grade while others went to the school hoping to get answers.
Khanak Lobin said his daughter got up at 2 am to check her grades and she broke down in tears when she saw she was ungraded for Principles of Accounts and Principles of Business.
“It was too much for her. She said ‘Daddy go and see about this for me. I cannot handle this,’” Lobin said.
He said after spending thousands of dollars in extra lessons for his daughter it was heart-wrenching to see her grade.
“She worked so hard. She has lessons all week every afternoon. She was not happy with the little work that was going on in the school so we decided to take matters into our own hands and do extra lessons so she would score a good grade,” Lobin said.
Student Jeremiah Grant said he too got a nasty shock when he went online to view his marks.
“I did everything I was supposed to do. I did my SBA, submitted it on time, I went on time for my exams. I was waiting anxiously for my result and then I saw ungraded,” Grant said.
After calling up his friends they realised the entire class was ungraded.
“We decided to come to the ministry’s office and find out what happened. We do not know whether our SBA’s were marked. We are waiting for a school supervisor to tell us what happened,” Grant said.
He added, “My teacher never contacted us to say what happened. I have no contact with him and the ministry is saying they have to wait for the supervisor to speak to the principal.”
Schoolmate Treena Smith said she was devastated when she saw her grade and called on Education Minister Anthony Garcia to launch a probe into the matter.
“I felt so dejected and hurt. It is unfair to us and I want the Minister of Education to get to the bottom on this,” she said.
Addanna Peruse, who accompanied the students to Rio Claro, said in light of the ongoing impasse between the ministry and the T&T Unified Teachers Association over the marking of SBAs it was suspicious that 35 pupils were ungraded and possibly because their SBAs were not sent to CXC.
“I read that the ministry plans to send out a pre-action protocol letter to TTUTA because teachers are unwilling to mark SBAs unless they are paid. We need some answers,” Peruse said.
In an interview yesterday, Education Minister Anthony Garcia assured that the students will not be disadvantaged. Garcia expressed surprise that the entire class was ungraded and confirmed he had launched an investigation into the matter.
“Every year we may have queries from one or two students but this is the first time that I am hearing that an entire class was ungraded because of the SBA not being uploaded at the school. We are investigating how this happened. CXC will not grade any student whose SBA mark is not uploaded. If they don’t have a mark from SBAs, CXC will not give a passing grade,” Garcia said.
He said he expected to get a report on the matter today, adding, “As long as they submitted their SBAs we will make sure that they are not disadvantaged.” (TRINIDAD GUARDIAN)