The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) is investigating the unauthorised release of its Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Mathematics Paper 02 after students across CARICOM sat that exam on Wednesday.
One confirmed report of students having access to the exam prior to its scheduled sitting, Wednesday morning, has come out of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Students were reported to be circulating images of the exam paper in a group chat the night before the exam.
In a brief statement addressing the incident, CXC indicated that it had been made aware of concerns that the examination had been leaked and had commenced investigations into the matter.
CXC has also indicated that a definitive statement on the matter will be released once an investigation is completed.
As internal discussions continue the examining body has urged candidates to “rest assured that this matter is being treated with the highest urgency”.
However, that has done little to ease students’ minds amid rumours that the exam leak could lead to more strict grading measures.
In Jamaica, National Secondary Students’ Council President Dannyelle-Jordan Bailey has called on CXC Officials to be swift with updating students on what steps they will take to ensure fairness in grading.
Speaking with local media outlet the Jamaica Observer, Bailey stressed that the leak of CXC documents is not new and emphasises that the examining body needs to modernise its approach by considering digitising the process.
“I feel as if there is a lot more security in that regard. It’s very old that we still have to be signing documents to ensure that the bag of papers is sealed, people still have to be bearing witness…the bag can easily be resealed; it doesn’t take that much technology to reseal a bag. So, I think the complete digitisation of the CXC exams could add that level of cybersecurity to ensure that what you see on the exam it’s the first time you’re seeing it and you wouldn’t have had access to it prior to that,” she said.
She argued that the key issue as it stands is students’ concerns surrounding how the grading process could be affected by the leak.
“With allegations of it being leaked, it makes the curve harder for students to get the one. It also puts that fear in students to say since they’ve already got access to the exams, they can go over it and get all the answers right, so what are the chances of me now getting the grade one, considering the score is dependent on the curve”, she told the Observer.
“It’s sad to know it’s something that happens every single year. Despite it being a yearly occurrence, nothing has changed. It’s just something that students expect to happen in certain Caribbean countries where there is access to the exam prior to the examination and nothing is done to ensure that the exam can be changed,” she added.
Reports have surfaced in regional online media pointing to Guyana as the source of the original leak.
Guyanese authorities have clapped back at the allegations stating that there is no evidence to support that claim.
Guyana’s Education Minister Priya Manickchaud stated on record that Guyana supports CXC in this investigation, however, a preliminary probe conducted internally found nothing to suggest the leak came from Guyana.
She stressed that Guyana’s Government has made the necessary investments to ensure that such documents remain safe.
While discussions on the matter continue some have alleged that a possible re-sitting of the examination could be called. An outcome that, for the most part, has been dismissed as unlikely.