Trinidad: Petition for CSEC Maths to be redone after cheating fiasco

TUTTA President Lynsley Doodhai

(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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