Tardy exam results complicate Year 12 entry

Year 12 students will begin the 2020-21 school year before the results of their external exams, such as CXC examinations, become available, advised the Department of Education Services on Friday.

The tardy arrival of exam results has required adjustments by DES to allow students to proceed with the academic year as planned.

Exam results would normally factor into admission choices for A-Levels and the dual entry programme, which allows Year 12 students to graduate with a head start on university credits.

Due to disruptions in the exam schedule this year, however, DES said decisions will be based on “the prediction of examination grades provided by high schools and grades in subjects which were already obtained from previous examination sittings”.

External exams that normally would have been given to Year 11 students in May or June did not happen until July or August this year, explained Acting Director of Education Services, Tammy Banks-DaCosta on Radio Cayman’s Talk Today on Friday. CXC results are expected to arrive in September, she said.

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“This has caused distress. We know. We are here to say to parents, if you have a concern initially, please go back to the school leader,” Banks-DaCosta said.

Students accepted to the dual entry programme were contacted by the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre, DES said in a press statement.

If students or parents wish to challenge a decision, they should contact their school principal, who will forward requests for review.

Further preparations

Banks-DaCosta added that assessments will be done for students of all ages in coming weeks to identify educational gaps and where learning interventions may be needed.

In preparation for the academic year, Banks-DaCosta said that schools were deep cleaned and water systems were flushed.

Remote learning policies are under review as well, said Lyneth Monteith, acting chief officer for the Ministry of Education. Also appearing on Talk Today, Monteith said the goal is to develop a remote learning regime that can apply to a variety of needs.

“We are revising that policy because we realise now that we’re not just talking about remote learning for this pandemic,” she said.

“We’re talking about remote learning in case a child is sick and they can’t go to school; remote learning in case we have hurricane that severely damages the island or damages structures so we can’t go to school; remote learning in any situation.”

Developing this framework has been a collaborative effort between departments and stakeholders in public and private education, she added.

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