“CSEC, CAPE and CCSLC students will be sitting their examinations in July this year. That was the decision coming out of the First Emergency Virtual Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) – Education on Friday.”

This according to a release on the official CARICOM website published on May 8 and on Sunday the Vincentian Education Minister St. Clair Jimmy Prince, told Asbert News Network, “we agreed that’s the better time for us. It was either July or September but I don’t think we should traumatize the children all down to September. Plus they have their transitions to university and colleges and so on. So we’re going with July.”

The Registrar of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) Dr. Wayne Wesley, addressed the gathering of Education Ministers, senior Ministry of Education officials from across CARICOM and key stakeholders including CXC, University of the West Indies, and others. Amongst the issues he highlighted, Dr. Wesley “explained the administration of the modified examination process for the award of valid grades.”

He also noted, “the proposed revised administration schedule for examinations is July 2020” with results expected to be “released in the 1st week of September 2020.”

The COHSOD forum on Education also decided “to have Examinations administered via an e-Testing modality in countries that are equipped with the requisite infrastructure. However, where there [are] infrastructure challenges, candidates would be allowed to sit paper-based examinations.”

Minister Prince confirmed, “if you don’t have the infrastructure to do the e-testing then you’d do paper-based tests. We’re not fully ready and I don’t think most of the OECS is ready for that. So we’d have to do paper-based tests. Wherever we could do the – like you could have a multiple choice for CAPE and they may find that people at college might be able to do it then we would do it. But we won’t be disadvantaged if we can’t do it. We would do the paper based tests.”

The local Education Ministry also tabled possible dates for CPEA exams to be held here, Minister Prince said. “We’re proposing CPEA for the 25 and 26 of June. That’s our proposal to CXC, I don’t know if they’d accept it but they would look at all the other countries and see what they [are proposing] and get a consensus before they decide.”

The CARICOM media release concluded, “after tedious negotiations and consultations, and on evaluating Education and Health officials’ ability to create a safe environment for students to prepare for and sit the regional exams, the meeting arrived at a consensus for exams to be held in July 2020.

“Informed by CARPHA’s recommendations and strategies for the safe, phased opening of schools, Ministries of Education, guided by national Health officials, will adapt respective national conditions to ensure students, teachers and staff can safely prepare for the July sitting.”