Maths exams during elections

John Gray High School students will sit their maths exams on Election Day, 20 May.

The school’s Deputy Principal Evelyn Rockett is encouraging parents to make sure their children attend school during exam times because there will be no re-sits.

‘Election or not – students who are taking the mathematics exams need to be at school on time dressed in uniforms,’ she said, adding that students who are not properly attired will not be permitted to sit the exam.

Government’s Head of Curriculum Services Clive Baker said exams begin at 8.30am sharp.

The Education Department is encouraging overseers of the exam to vote beforehand, as the voting polls open from 7am. However, Mr. Baker said no overseer would be required continuously, so exams breaks will still enable them to vote.

‘Whenever possible we only use an invigilator for one exam per day, so after the 2.5 hour session the rest of day is theirs,’ he said.

Exam overseers are called invigilators and are not teachers employed by the school – they are external people.

The Education Department is also encouraging parents and guardians to choose to vote before dropping off students, or whilst the examination is in process.

The CXC maths exam in the morning lasts for 2.5 hours..

According to Mr. Baker the Education Department is not responsible for the examination dates and it has no control or influence over the timing.

He said external examination boards – in whichever region the Department of Education uses – whether CXC/GCSE/SAT – all set t dates and times independently of the Education Department and each other.

‘It is for this reason that we get clashes with holidays and elections because these regions do not share our dates,’ he said.

Mr. Baker also said clashes occur because the boards do not coordinate with each other and the Education Department selects the courses based on what is best for the students in terms of the interests and potential of success.

‘When Education chooses the courses, they have no idea of what the final exam dates will be,’ he said.

According to Mr. Baker John Gray High School received the exam timetable either late last year or early this year. The CXC timetable was confirmed in late January.

‘A master exam timetable was then assembled in January or early February to check for clashes and date issues,’ he said.

‘It is important that parents know the date, time and duration of each exam, so that they can ensure students arrive on time, fully equipped and prepared to take the examination,’ he added.

‘It is unfortunate that Cayman Election Day is the day in which these students will sit the maths exams,’ said Ms Rockett.