Students may have to rewrite paper

by Miranda La Rose
Stabroek News
June 16, 1999

Local Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) candidates who wrote Mathematics Paper Two at the CXC examinations on June 3, recently will most likely have to rewrite the examination in the near future, Chief Education Officer, Ed Caesar, said.

The Guyana Government may also have to undertake the cost of having students redo the paper, which would involve incurring a great deal of expense. This is based on an agreement Guyana has signed covering breaches of examinations.

In a brief interview yesterday at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD), Caesar told Stabroek News that he is to attend a CXC meeting in Barbados on June 18, where he is expected to present a detailed report on the leak.

During the sitting of the Mathematics exam, a female student of a city secondary school turned in a copy of the paper which she had been in possession of at least a day before the test began when she realised that it was the same paper she was writing. The paper, the student was reported to have said, was given to her by a male friend. The friend from whom the paper was obtained lives on the East Coast Demerara.

Caesar was unable to say how widespread the leak was but admitted that it was serious and more widespread than he might have originally thought. As such it may lead to the resetting of the examination papers.

He said that by the end of next week students will definitely know if and when they will have to rewrite the test, which will most likely also be declared null and void.

Stabroek News was reliably informed that investigations had led police to a secondary school on the West Demerara, where a teacher is assisting the police in the investigations

Police Public Relations Officer, Senior Superintendent Ivelaw Whittaker, said yesterday that no one had been charged as yet, but that investigations were continuing. The student and the friend who supplied it to the student, were held by the police on June 4, and released on $10,000 bail each to allow investigations into the matter to proceed. There were no indications whether other persons who allegedly were in possession of the paper prior to the sitting were held and released on bail.

There were also reports that students at another city secondary school also revised the said paper the day before the test began and students recognised the questions when they began to work at the examination.

Last Friday some six persons who have been implicated in the leak were interrogated by the police. According to reports received by this newspaper, the papers were being sold at a cost of $5,000 each. However, this could not be confirmed.

Meanwhile, the mother of the student who first turned in the paper reiterated yesterday on the telephone that she did not give her daughter the papers before the examinations. She said that she has never seen a CXC paper and when her daughter told her that she was in possession of the paper before the scheduled time, she advised her to turn the paper in to the authorities. She is not in physical contact with her daughter but is in regular contact with her by telephone.

Since the breach was made public, persons have expressed concern about the security of papers.

A similar breach occurred in the early 1980's and education officials said that it was localised to a centre on the East Coast Demerara and to one individual in the city.

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Guyana: Land of Six Peoples