Features — 15 March 2016 — by Johnelle McKenzie
CXC keeping up with technology

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Mar. 10, 2016–Very soon, students will be able to take their Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) exams online. It is CXC’s way of keeping up with an increasingly automated world.

Juan Vargas, registrar of CXC in Belize, told Amandala that on March 3 and 4, he attended a meeting in Barbados with other registrars from the different CXC territories, and there, the council shared information on the implementation of the online exams.

Prior to Vargas going to Barbados for the meeting, Dr. Carol Granston, Pro-Registrar, Second in Command of the CXC organization, visited Belize to meet with Ministry of Education personnel, principals of secondary schools and the CXC national committee.

The purpose of the visit was to get additional information on how the online CXC exam process will be implemented, Vargas said.

Vargas said that in 2017 CXC will begin to phase out the use of paper-based exams, and will be going online. The shift to online testing will start with paper 1 and multiple choice questions, and by 2020, an online version of paper 2 should be implemented. He added that by next month they will be carrying out pre-tests at various schools in the country.

Omar Longsworth, president of the Association of Principals for Secondary Schools, told Amandala that he welcomes the idea and the new mode will have many benefits, such as being environmentally friendly due to a reduction in the use of paper.

Also, in the past, “markers” who assessed exams have traveled to Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad to carry out such marking. Such traveling will soon not be necessary. Longsworth additionally noted that online administration of exams will ensure greater security, since exam material will longer have to go through the mailing system.

Dr. Lorna McKay, principal of Gwen Lizarraga High School, told Amandala that this new move by CXC will “raise the level of passes for students,” since the students will be able to access past papers and other support material online to assist them in preparing for their exams.

McKay added, “This is the trend; it is where technology is going.”

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