9 students charged

The charges were laid by way of summons and not arrest warrants by officials of the Fraud Squad.

This follows the arrest and indictment of Arianna Lakatoo, an on-the-job trainee at the Ministry of Education’s San Fernando office, and Mickel Torres, a student of St Michael’s College, on May 23 for the leaks in the CSEC Mathematics and English A exams (also known as O’Levels). They have each been placed on $1 million bail.

Le Gendre revealed that of the nine students, four were charged for the leaks of the O’Level papers while five students were charged for leaks in the CAPE Communication Studies Paper II. Twelve charges have been laid against the nine students.

The total number of persons charged for the offences is now 11.

“These persons are aged between 15 and 19 years and come from the South, Central and the St Augustine areas,” said Le Gendre.

They are scheduled to appear in the Tunapuna Magistrates’ Court on July 3, the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court on August 5 and the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court on September 4. She added that investigations were continuing and more arrests were expected to be made in relation to additional offences.

She also stated that the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) and the Education Ministry have implemented a new set of security arrangements which included measures to ensure secure printing.

“These security arrangements seek to improve on the human chain of custody of the exam as well as to the physical arrangements which have been contracted to an international firm with local operations who are experts in the transport of high value materials,” said Le Gendre.

She further stated the ministry was working with expert support and was working with CXC which has re-designed all arrangements for which it has responsibility.

“In addition to these exams hosted by the CXC, the ministry also has responsibility for another 15 international exams and the new security arrangements will be extended to these exams.” These security arrangements will be subjected to periodic audit and review if necessary.

She added that any student found guilty would be banned from writing the exam for two years.

CXC Registrar Didacus Jules, who is in Trinidad for meetings with the Education Ministry, told Newsday the council was concerned about the involvement of students in the exam breaches but maintained they intended to send a strong message that whoever was caught would have to pay the penalty. He added the CXC papers are covered by the CXC Act so the penalty would be applied.

First Vice President of the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA) Jenny Lynne Cyrille yesterday said the law must be followed.

“We have to wait and see whether they are found guilty or not but we hope that it sends a message to others that there are repercussions for such actions,” said Cyrille.

President of the Association of Principals of Assisted Secondary Schools Fr Ron Mendes said he was saddened to learn about the allegations that students have been caught in the leak of CXC and CAPE papers.

“I do not know of any details other than what was released but it is obvious that if the students obtained the papers, they did so through the actions of adults. It is a sad day for the educational community,” said Mendes.

All CAPE examinations were postponed on May 12 following confirmed breaches in the Communication Studies paper which was held on May 8. A decision was taken to issue new exam papers as well as a new timetable for all CAPE exams which are scheduled to begin this Monday.

Breaches also occurred in the CSEC English A and Mathematics papers which students sat on May 20 and 21. Students will re-write both papers on June 18 and 19 respectively.


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