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Nov 4, 2016

Taking C.S.E.C. examinations online

C.X.C. going online? Yes, well, at least a part of it and it is happening sooner than you’d think. In January of next year, students who are sitting CSEC exams with a multiple choice component will be doing some of their exams online. The talk of moving the exams from paper to e-method has been in the making for years and Belize, along with the rest of the Caribbean, has been preparing to accommodate e-testing. If there aren’t any issues with the small number of students in January, the C.X.C. hopes to fully roll it out in the May-June exams. In our interview on Thursday with C.X.C. Local Registrar Juan Vargas, he explained how the e-testing will work.

 

Juan Vargas, C.X.C. Local Registrar

Juan Vargas

“C.X.C. is moving ahead with making use of technology. It is nothing new. Examining boards have used technology to its fullest. It accelerates on receiving feedback, it also helps with security of the examination because these sites or these servers are secured. We are moving ahead with that. C.X.C. plan at the moment, which they have been discussing for the past year with the stakeholders; the parents, the schools and so on. CXC’s plan is to begin doing the multiple choice component of the examination by what is called e-testing; using a computer, using a safe browser. We have done a pilot with it here in Belize and they plan to roll it out for the January examination because we do have two sittings for the CSEC examination, in January and May- June. And then to roll it out fully for the 2017 May-June examinations. Now, we have done a survey of all the IT infrastructure in schools, to know how we can implement this. We have looked at issues with bandwidth, number of workable units in these schools, electricity; things that we may take for granted here in Belize City, we have to look at that across the country. So, we have done that. At the moment the IT technician for the Ministry of Education is attending a workshop today in Barbados to look at the technical aspect of that. So, when he comes back we are going to discuss that fully with the schools to see how we are going to implement it. There are several ways how we can implement it; but the easiest way that we can begin with is to start with the small subjects. See how it works and then roll it out bit by bit. It is a challenge through-out the Caribbean, mind you, it is nothing new. Anything that you will be implementing it will have some resistance. But we have to move that way. We are going to get that feedback and see what we can do so that we can have it rolled out. We do not want to disadvantaged the students. There has to be a phase of trial where students will have to use this technology before it is fully implemented, because here we are not testing the use of technology and so on, we are testing the skills they have garnered from the syllabus. So, I am hoping that beginning next year we will have a solid idea in terms of what we want to do. Because CXC also needs to move with its plan what modality we are going to use; either the e-testing or the pen and paper.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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