I am Kayla Daniel and I am currently an upper six student of Bishop Anstey and Trinity College East Sixth form in Trinidad and Tobago. Upon receiving what appears to be my 2020 Unit 1 CAPE examination results on Tuesday 22nd September, 2020, I am baffled and in need of an explanation.
I currently study History, Literatures in English and Geography and sat the Communication Studies exam. Seeing as I had received grade ones in Geography and Communication Studies , I was more than confused and taken aback at receiving a grade III in History and grade IV In Literatures in English. There seems to be something seriously wrong with the grading system utilized this academic year , specifically for CAPE examinations .
I simply cannot accept these grades when I’m known to be one of the top students in the entire humanities department , with some of the highest school based assessment scores and predicted grades, all of grade I. My course work scores throughout the year were also commendable to say the least and having been placed with these examination results, I am disappointed and infuriated. Seeing students with low predicated grades and course work marks throughout the school term being provided with all grade ones was disheartening when I know I put my best foot forward.
What people tend to overlook is the disadvantage placed on studies of the humanities faculty. Since the Unit 1 results consisted of a combination of multiple choice and SBA marks , you would expect for everyone to be graded on an equal scale . So why is it that the entrepreneurship SBA is worth 60 per cent of a student’s total grade while the Literatures in English SBA is worth 20 per cent of a student’s total grade ? The clear distinction and demarcation between how SBAs are assessed for students outside of modern studies , clearly puts those inside at a great disadvantage.
To place the icing on the cake , the Literatures in English paper one exam is an unseen paper, meaning there is no content for students to familiarize themselves with beforehand. Doesn’t that place a huge advantage to those who are graced with textbooks and formula sheets flooded with information?
The statistics for the number of humanities students over the years are by far the lowest across the board. Not to mention, all students had to write exams amidst a global pandemic. Some students barely have technological devices to equip themselves with information as they would’ve been able to access this in school.
It’s truly distasteful to see the Caribbean Examinations Council so unmoved and insensitive towards the conditions of students at this time. The council knows previous papers that were made available to the public were repeated which would’ve given students an outlet to score higher. Is the council’s agenda to deplete the confidence and academic rank of a student by setting them up for failure?
While the entire region is in uproar at their incompetency to provide accurate results reflective of students’ efforts and capabilities, they continue to provide us with computer generated responses about paying for a query or review of results. Why should we have to pay for a mistake on their part, when there is clearly something wrong with the system? The way humanities exams are compiled amount to students having to write ten or more essays while their peers appear stress free with formulas and equations . Essay writing, I agree, is an essential asset for any form of employment, but why is it that this is all we’re assessed on?
The level of analysis and critical thinking can be explored in other ways, which I’m more than certain the council can develop.
This is not only a cry out from humanities students for an upgrade in the way we are instructed and examined but also for all students who are apart of the great upheaval towards this year’s results.
There needs to be a proper re-evaluation and review of marks , even taking into account the students’ transcripts and in school assessments .
I call on the Ministry of Education to appeal to the council and rectify this issue. This cannot go unanswered as the deadline for universities draw near . I am hoping that attention can be brought to this regional issue and help launch an investigation into the Caribbean Examinations Council.
Kayla Daniel, via email