He said this yesterday after meeting with principals of all secondary schools in Trinidad. A meeting with teachers and principals in Tobago is to be scheduled.
He said, “The meeting was called to address the concerns expressed by principals with respect to the fiasco of the late release of results.” Garcia said schools had been encountering various issues with CXC over the past few months.
He added that the intention of the ministry was not to degrade the regional body, however, “It is our responsibility to ensure that the integrity of the examination is maintained and we must ensure that the public confidence in the body is regained.” “We are going to make a request with officials of CXC to visit Trinidad and Tobago so they can give us a first-hand view of the causes of the difficulties we have been experiencing,” Garcia said.
He added that their visit could reassure all stakeholders that the regional body was taking the necessary actions to ensure the same problems did not occur in the future.
Garcia said the problems stated by principals were to be relayed to CXC so that it could work with the ministry to avoid similar occurrences in the future.
He added that principals were happy to be given the opportunity to voice their concerns.
“As the practising professionals in the field, we wanted to dialogue with them and use their advice as we move forward in our pursuit of delivering quality education.” Chief Education Officer Harrilal Seecharan said, “Some issues principals highlighted were the lateness of results; concerns about the e-marking process; recruitment of markers for that process and the monitoring of quality assurance; issues related to proposed online testing and the readiness of schools for online testing.” He added that timely communication from CXC to schools was also a concern and one principal believed that multiple choice questions should be more readily available.
Seecharan said the ministry also took the opportunity to address other issues as the opening of the school term nears. Matters involving increasing the efficiency of the school feeding and the school transport programmes as well as promoting discipline in schools were discussed.