Minister with responsibility for Education, Youth and Information, Karl Samuda, has advised that Jamaica will not be able to hold the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE), slated for July.
According to the Minister, CARICOM (Caribbean Community) Education Ministers and Education Ministry officials met on May 8 and an agreement was reached for the examinations to be done in July.
However, Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Grace McLean, who represented the Minister, indicated that Jamaica could not endorse that date given the many challenges now faced by students locally, Samuda said.
Speaking at a virtual press conference on May 11, at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kingston, he said that Jamaica, being the largest Caribbean island affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19), has a different situation when compared to the circumstances in the smaller islands.
“The challenges are much greater, so we don’t feel that we could make a commitment to hold those exams in July under the circumstances. So, we are examining very carefully all our options and what possibilities exist for us to give our students the best opportunity to engage in the process,” he argued.
“We are very satisfied that we will come up with the right answer, and in consultation with the Prime Minister and the Cabinet, we will discuss the matter more fully and arrive at a position,” Samuda added.
Schools were ordered closed on March 13 by the Government as part of measures to contain and reduce the spread of COVID-19.