Thu | Jul 18, 2024

Letter of the Day | CXC is at it again!

Published:Thursday | May 23, 2024 | 12:06 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) is at it again! It is no news that CXC has decided to discontinue the following subjects of note – Agricultural Science (double option), Mechanical Engineering, Green Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Technology – then notice came to the education system across the region in a 'Nicodemus nature' overnight. Dr Wayne Wesley, CEO of the CXC, noted that low registration and the corresponding economic cost to offer these subjects as the rationale for their discontinuation.

Who did the CXC consult about this discontinuation? CXC has a propensity to confuse consultation with sensitisation. We are in a sad state of affairs, as CXC appears to report to no one! They are judge, jury and executioner on all matters relating to the assessment of our students and they do so with impunity and a total lack of regard for key players and clients such as students, parents, teachers, and possible governments in the region. CXC must be democratised with urgency and not only transform but reform itself to reflect an organisation that is innovative, collaborative, flexible, and credible.

Additionally, what are the implications of discontinuing these subjects on the STEM/STEAM thrust in the region? The proposed saving grace is that the territories that wish to offer these subjects can do so but must be prepared to foot the full economic cost. To date, of note, we have not heard from the policymakers in the region on such an important matter. Should we as the public take it that our policymakers are suffering from amnesia or is it a case that they support this debilitating and inimical move by CXC? We deserve to hear from our policymakers as the silence is deafening and palpable.

As a region, we must be concerned about the decision by CXC as to the impact on the advancement of science, technology and economic growth and development in the region. The potential reduction in the pool of talent going into electronics and scientific inquiry can lead to a skills gap for the field of mechanics, civil & electrical engineering and agriculture which significantly impacts our global competitiveness.

Consequently, there must be a review of the decision to ensure we provide persons with the skill set necessary to meet the needs of our region.

We must, as educators and citizens in general, save CXC from itself and, by extension, our region.

GARTH ANDERSON, Ed.D

President, Caribbean Union of

Teachers (CUT)

Principal, Church Teachers’

College: Mandeville