St. Vincent and the Grenadines is yet to hear how its students performed at this year’s CSEC and CAPE examinations because of “some controversies, some little snags”.
This is according to Minister of Health, St. Clair “Jimmy” Prince, speaking on the ruling Unity Labour Party’s radio station Wednesday night.
It is the first public comment by the government on the results, which they received last Thursday, Sept. 1, and was released to students on Monday, Sept. 5.
“CSEC and CAPE are out. I think CXC still has to rectify some things so people have to wait a little while,” Prince said.
“There are some controversies, some little snags that they have to work out before they are able to give a final result here,” the Marriaqua MP said as he gave an update on schools in his constituency as the beginning of the new academic year.
“I expect that the children, of course, would do well,” said Prince, who was minister of education from 2015 to 2020.
“Despite all the trauma and the anxiety over the past few years, they still held their own, so far. It is not easy. We had a pandemic and in the middle of that, we had a very devastating eruption of la Soufriere. It is not easy,” Prince said.
“So we must congratulate the students, and the teacher and the parents for being so resilient,” he told listeners.
One educator told iWitness News that the results have not been released because there is a “scramble to rectify people’s grades.
“There are lots of ‘ungraded’ although people submitted SBAs. My students all are ‘ungraded’ although they submitted their work,” the educator said.
On Aug. 28, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Curtis King speaking on radio, said that he was looking forward “with great anticipation” to the CSEC and CAPE results.
This year’s are the first CSEC examinations since hundreds of teachers were fired over the vaccine mandate last December and replaced with people who were teaching for the first time, as well as retired educators.
King said that his ministry was determined that students should return to the classroom last year, despite the explosive eruption of La Soufriere and the COVID-19 pandemic.
A number of schools were used as emergency shelters after the volcano erupted in April 2021 and students only returned to the physical classroom in October.
The Teachers’ Union has said that the dismissal of the teachers over the vaccine mandate has left a gaping hole in the teaching service.
However, King said that he hopes when the students’ performance this year is being analysed that people would “compare apples with apples, not bananas with apples…
“I’m putting it out there because in this season where people seem to be thinking that ‘Boy, let me jockey and get the advantage’, let me tell you, the last time St. Vincent and Grenadines did the two papers was 2019.”
He said that in 2020, because of the prevailing situation with the pandemic and in the case of SVG, because of the eruption of the volcano, in 2021, students wrote one paper, a multiple choice, in addition to any practical or school-based assessments.”
The minister, however, said that this year the students wrote two papers, as had been the case before the pandemic.