Education Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley said steps will be taken locally to reduce the likelihood of security breaches while BVI students sit exams from external bodies such as the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC).
His remarks come days after CXC’s announcement that they are probing a ‘security breach’ in Trinidad & Tobago where a video of students sitting an exam while using their cellular phones surfaced on social media.
In an interview with BVI News on Monday, Dr Wheatley said the matter is of concern, adding that the BVI has to “do everything in its power to ensure it doesn’t happen here”.
“We will increase spot checks and monitoring of exam centres throughout the exam season. They (local exam invigilators) will also continue to sign oaths of confidentiality each year.”
As for current measures, Dr Wheatley said local examination personnel are typically interviewed and trained on CXC’s expectations and procedures before the start of the exams.
“They are reminded of the implications to the territory if such a breach occurs … They are also required to report any cases of misconduct to the Local Registrar and are aware that they will be held accountable for any discrepancies in their work. This may lead to immediate dismissal without pay, depending on the severity,” he said.
In the meantime, Dr Wheatley said there are several implications if such a security breach were to happen in the BVI.
One of those implications could be that students are forced to re-sit an exam regardless of whether they were an offender.
“If it [exams] has to be done again, it has financial implications for all concerned. For us [in the BVI] it means we have to pay for examination personnel, shipping and accommodation, among other things a second time.
The country in breach is expected to pay for the all of CXC’s costs associated with the re-sit of the examinations,” he said.
“It negatively impacts students in the territory and across the region who have already done their best and may have to re-sit if decided by CXC.”
Students found to be directly involved in the security breach could be given a failing grade and could be banned for the remainder of the said exams, Dr Wheatley said.
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