Education, News, Regional News

Parents to file lawsuit against exam body

Published 19 January, 2021


Buckie Got It, St. Kitts and Nevis News Source

Article by
Randy Bennett

Distressed students and parents are taking the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) to court.

Frustrated by the initial grading of last year’s CSEC and CAPE examinations and with the subsequent review process offered by the regional examinations body, the Group of Concerned Parents of Barbados has retained the services of one of the island’s top legal firms to file a class action suit against CXC.

In a press release issued today, the group revealed they had hired Aegis Chambers after failing to reach an amicable and fair solution with CXC.

“Since September 22, 2020, students and their parents in Barbados and across the region have suffered the inexcusable fallout of CXC CSEC and CAPE results, which were manifestly flawed, and which have occasioned mental angst, as well as material dislocation, in the form of loss of scholarship opportunities, university acceptance inter alia,” the release stated.

“From the outset of this crisis, the Group of Concerned Parents of Barbados, in association with allied advocates, has worked earnestly towards an amicable and fair settlement of this matter, heeding the call of Professor Sir Hilary Beckles to forswear passivity. Such advances, up to the present, have yielded little substantial change and this tragedy continues to affect the lives of too many students.

“To that end, the group, recognizing the many instruments available to it in its toolkit, has contemplated legal action against the Caribbean Examinations Council, in order to receive redress.

“Therefore, the group is pleased to confirm that we have secured the legal representation of Aegis Chambers, to represent the interests of affected students through a class action suit against CXC. Aegis has generously offered to do so, free of costs, with only nominal charges for disbursements,” the release further stated.

The news does not come as a complete surprise. Two weeks ago vocal student advocate Khaleel Kothdiwala warned of possible legal action.

He said the majority of students were dissatisfied with their review grades, as miniscule changes had been made in most instances.

Kothdiwala also raised concern at the manner in which CXC had communicated with its shareholders.

“We remain deeply concerned with the actions of CXC, particularly their method of communication. We will see whether there are any legal consequences coming out of the latest action of CXC to seek to declare final results without adequate communication with stakeholders but I am not really at liberty to discuss those legal matters,” Kothdiwala said at the time.

CXC and students have been at odds since the release of the 2020 CSEC and CAPE exam results in September, with scores of students dissatisfied with their grades.

The widespread discontent led to two days of protests outside CXC’s Wildey headquarters.

Following mounting pressure from students and parents, CXC announced an Independent Review Team would be employed to review its 2020 results.

That team eventually suggested that CXC undergo a review process.

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