Rhianna Mc Kenzie
STUDENTS who sat this year’s Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) and their parents staged a protest on Thursday. The group, which has now dwindled to seven participants, gathered outside the Education Towers in Port of Spain.
Protesters said nine weeks after receiving initial results, some students have received the results of queries submitted to CXC to have their papers re-marked, the results of which have not changed.
One student, who requested anonymity, said while some of her classmates are still awaiting their query results, the CAPE Unit 1 student’s grades remained the same.
She said although only a small group showed up on Thursday, those who are still willing and able will continue to protest. “At this point, everyone is just really depressed,” she said. “It’s really sad to see. That is why even if a lot of people do not show up, those of us who still can, will because this is unacceptable and we won’t allow it to just go away.”
Parent Sherry Sookoo said students are frustrated and disheartened. “They don’t know what they are fighting for anymore.” She said students are being attacked by the Ministry of Education.
“The children are getting one blow after another,” she said. “They got it on 22 September; they got it again last week with the cuts to GATE and scholarships and they continue to get the same grade (with the) re-grade. “Everyone I know has said to me there was no change to their grade. It is depressing.”
Another parent Aimee Bartholomew said Minister Gadsby-Dolly said the ministry would pay for queries, but that never happened.
“CXC reduced the fees but by that time a lot of us had already paid so we don’t even know if we’re going to get back that 50 per cent.”
She said parents and students want answers. “We’re not hearing anything. They have gone from saying they would pay for queries to saying nothing at all with no explanation as to why.” She said although it was just a few protesters, hundreds are still dissatisfied.
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