BVI News

Funding CXC exams was always temporary, some students don’t show up when gov’t pays

Dr Natalio Wheatley

By Esther Durand, BVI News Staff

Some local students do not show up to sit external exams after they have been paid for and that is part of the reason government has decided to stop funding these exams.

This is according to Education Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley who said the decision applies to both the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exams and the Royal School of Music assessment.

In the case of the CSEC which is administer by the Caribbean Examination Council, the government pays roughly $33,500 per year for 300 students on average.

“It (paying exam fees for students) was never intended to be infinite. It was supposed to be a temporary measure. The decision is nothing new and uncommon so I’m just enforcing a decision that was already made from before,” Dr Wheatley told BVI News on Thursday.

He continued: “In many Caribbean countries, persons have to pay for exams themselves and this is what was happening before. In addition to that, there was the issue of students not showing up for exams that were paid for.”

“Hopefully, if the students and their families invest in it, they will show up for their exams and take them seriously,” the minister further reasoned.

Decision wasn’t hard

In the meantime, the first-term legislator said the decision was ‘not that difficult’ to make and said the expense of sponsoring CSEC exam fees for students would not have been “sustainable” over time.

“There is no shortage of needs in the system so it (the money) will go to improving our programmes in the system,” Dr Wheatley told BVI News.

Government has been funding CSEC exams for local students for the last five years. It has also been sponsoring the Royal School of Music exams for students for the last two.

Permanent Secretary in the Education Ministry Dr Marcia Potter made the announcement that govermnent would no longer be paying for these exams in a public statement this week.


Copyright 2024 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.


Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. cyclops says:

    Here we go “from good to great”

    Like 5
    Dislike 7
  2. Oh Dear! says:

    Back to the future!……I guess

    Like 5
    Dislike 6
  3. Awsome! says:

    They might show more interest now.

    Like 27
    Dislike 2
  4. Wow says:

    $33,500 is not even half of what is being paid for body guards per month. It’s not even a quarter of Claude Skelton’s 98k for six months of work but its too much for our kids. If some of the students don’t show up for the exams find a way to address that. Hold their high school certificate until they pay up for example. The vast majority of the students show up and they do well as we could see they were first for the last two years in the OECS. This is a disgrace. Many parents have to choose now between paying for exams and paying the rent of buying food. If the decision to pay by government was temporary we can see that the last government extended it. You don’t have to follow whatever policy the last government would have outbound in place temporarily. You went to lower the pass mark that was there for the last 6 years so what’s your point?

    Like 28
    Dislike 18
    • the watcher says:

      maybe you need to learn maths…$33,500 is “not even a quarter of $98k”?

      Like 9
      Dislike 6
      • Wow says:

        @the watcher… maybe you need to learn reading and comprehension. The 98k is for a 6 month period while
        the 33,500 is for a year. Do the maths. You have issues in reading, comprehension and mathematics it appears. Over anxious political defender I guess. My my my

        Like 8
        Dislike 4
      • You says:

        Maybe you are the one who needs to learn maths.

        Skelton contract – 98k per six months (196k per year)
        25% of that is 49k.
        That is greater than 33k Incase you’re still not following.
        By the way I’m not @wow

        Like 4
        Dislike 1
    • Please says:

      what is your point really?
      the rest of the Caribbean countries that sit Cxc exams do not get government assistance to do it.

      Cxc’s are paid out of the parents pockets.

      everything cannot be free. You guys take this stuff for granted.

      education has to be worked for, it is not a hand out.

      Like 15
      Dislike 1
    • @ wow says:

      It’s so funny how when leaders from other country come BVI have to provide security detail for them and you guys are saying the Premier should not have security detail. Y’all are laughable. Wake up people it’s 2019! The virginity gone…can’t get back…

      Like 3
      Dislike 2
  5. L says:

    I paid for my CXC exams, and I made sure I passed all of them. I’ve always wondered why government was paying for these exams.

    Like 43
    Dislike 1
    • Selfishness says:

      Did you pay for your own college too or you got a scholarship? Did you have no kind of assistance at all from the government? So because you were able to do it means that everybody will?

      Like 8
      Dislike 28
  6. USA says:

    That is the reason why the Government stopped funding the GED program. Some of the people slot was paid for and they never showed up for said test.We as parent have to pay for our kids to sit the SAT’s and other tests they have to take.

    Like 23
  7. Saddened says:

    The more access you provide to educating your population, the better it is for your society. It is important that our students be accessed regionally and internationally rather than just locally. We all know what happens and has happened when it comes to local assessment. Just last month we saw this same minister lower the pass mark after the exams were administered.
    In any social system you will have abuse and things would not always go right but you put the best safeguards in place to minimize abuse. If some students are not turning up for exams then you deal with those students but most do turn up and give of their all. To spend $33,500 per year on external exams for our students to me is nothing! Nothing!
    Are we going to now stop college scholarships. There is abuse taking place there too? But we can’t do that. Fix the abuses but continue to provide the access to education and greater qualifications for our kids. Our local exams cannot be the only qualification that students have in the 21st century. We are once again giving them a false sense of security. They need to compete with their peers so that we can also see where we need to improve in the education system in the country. Many people may not understand the backward step that this will be for our country. Most of the students will not avail themselves of the CXC curriculum and we will go right back to where we were. Politics at its best again. When we wake up from our political sleep we will realize that our country is much poorer for it

    Like 7
    Dislike 5
    • Really says:

      Our local exams is not the only qualifications you have SAT, CSEC, CAPE. SLL YOU HAVE TO DO IS PAY FOR THEM. College is free and even at that level a high percentage of them on campus playing the a**. When things are free they are not appreciated and wasted. PAY UP AND SHUT UP or let your child fall by the wayside. The choice is yours.

  8. Looking. says:

    That’s what happen when local employers and government alike dont ask for entry level qualifications…..norm is once you’ve been through high school here you can get a job.student however dont see the need to take the CXC examinations….

    Like 10
  9. Anonymous says:

    That which is toiled for and achieved is always more appreciated and valued than that which is freely gotten.

    Like 29
  10. Country first says:

    The developed and developing countries around the world are seeing the importance of investing in the education of our children as a way to maintain economic sustainability. More and more they are removing financial barriers to education with many moving towards providing free tertiary education. This is even being done in the Caribbean. Here we are playing petty politics over $33,500 per year for our students to be exposed to the Caribbean Examination Council’s curriculum. An accredited body that we are members of and that is recognized as the regional examination authority for our part of the world.
    How do we expect to minimize our standards so that our students could do well at home and then let them out into the world to compete with their peers who would have been been the rigors of a higher standard?
    It’s not about the money people. Think deeper than that. Get out of politics mode and into country mode.

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
    • @Country first says:

      Countries abroad might be doing it because it fits with their culture and sociology of their people. It’s time we stop wholesale importation of foreign ideals. We need to ask yourselves if it will work for us given our society where our socialisation is different. I am all for the Government’s decision to end paying these fees for the student. Let that money be allocated to the school infrastructure or getting the public library up and running. Let’s keep the value of edu8at a high standard…these children today somehow expect everything on a silver platter and it is killing our society in many ways…let then earn what they have so they can understand VALUE!!!

  11. Faith says:

    You parents are so God darn selfish. Why should Government pay for your child to take exams and they do not show up to take the exams. WHY? I bet if you had paid for them to take the test, you would have made sure they took them; but because it is Government’s money, you don’t give a rat’s behind if they show up to take the test or not. I paid for my children exams before this freebee idea came into play. Hon. Minister, don’t mind the noise. You are doing the right thing.

    Like 24
    • @Faith says:

      I also paid for both my Son and Daughter exam. So correct, a bunch of ungrateful,selfish mooching parents. They expect everything for free. Minister you stand your ground and let them grumble all they want.They will get over it.

      Like 19
      Dislike 1
  12. Trumpeteer says:

    This looks like Trump and Obama type behavior now man. So anything Myron do let’s undo it. First the special needs children scholarship. Then the extra school year then the cxc. Can’t wait to see what’s next Mr. Trump.

    Like 21
    Dislike 22
  13. Youngin says:

    When I did my CXCs in the 90s we paid for them ourselves. thinks was $40 each.

    Like 16
    Dislike 1
  14. vip heckler says:

    So we rather pay $38000 per month for 2 useless bodyguards rather than $33000 per year for 300 students????

    Like 13
    Dislike 13
  15. blind man says:


    Like 13
    Dislike 20
  16. Dear Minister Wheatly says:

    As a parent, I am with you 100% on this. Let the kids get a part time job to help pay for the Exam. Some parents can find and will find money to be looking fly,ie… Weave,mani, pedi,expensive phone you name it but can’t find the money to pay for a school Exam.Good,the train has pulled into the station,time to exit the final free train ride.

    Like 26
    Dislike 2
    • Funny thing says:

      Who exactly are the parents trying to impress by wearing all the expensive stuff? We live on an Island. Take the money and invest it in your child’s future and education.I’m glad the free ride is over.Minister wheatly,I am standing behind you on this decission.

  17. Hmm says:

    Please make another bold decision regarding entry at HLSCC and funding. The free initiative sadly is diminishing the quality that the college offers and attracts. Make HLSCC a mandatory beginning for those who opt to make it one.

    There can be a way to benefit our students without having these classes completely free, it is killing our sole tertiary institution. Its the same effect sadly, children are going because it is free, but they are not producing the work it takes to advance. Please revamp this.

    Like 10
    Dislike 3
  18. Fidel says:

    Good Fidel Castro, bad Fidel. One thing he never compromised was the education of his Cuban people. Education at all levels for Cubans in Cuba is offered free.

    Like 13
    Dislike 4
    • @Fidel says:

      You are absolutely right in your statements with a few exceptions 1) 99% of the Cuban people were inspired by a strong leader. That inspiration caused them to work even harder each day to produce more. (2)

      They took advantage of every opportunity that was denied them under the Batista regime.(3) They went to school and produced, produced and produced. When people produced, they pay back what free opprtunity they received, and society as a whole benefits in all areas.

      On the contrary here, our children, a huge percentage of them, are existing in a world of easy life priviledge, mental and intellectual don’t care and laziness, indifference to education and learning, fused with a great degree of self entitlement, wrapped up in a shopping bag of materialism and sex.

      Hence, no system is sustainable under such deteriorating conditions. It must be halted and reconfigured.

      Most are spoon fed through elementary. Upon arriving at high school, no work ethic or academic discipline are evident in the vast majority.

      They exude the impression that they have arrived and don’t have to do shit, but be pampered and given free stuff and yes, even grades.

      Then, in the last year, a realization sets in and you see some scrambling for tertiary acceptance with the same low level work ethic and academic discipline.

      These are the kinds of minds that are prevalent among our student population today, and as such, will only deteriorate the tertiary level to unacceptable lows.

      Therefore restructuring time has come, unfortunately.

      Last, parents must begin demanding hard work, productivity and academic success from their children. As, today, they are settling for less than mediocrity.

      From a fronline warrior.

      Like 18
    • duck1951 says:

      while you do have a point here , remember that the average wage is very very low and would be a hardship on the average family .

  19. BIG QUESTION says:


    Like 5
    Dislike 9
  20. Head Honcho says:

    I paid for mines, and passed.

    Why do citizens always believe that governments are responsible/obligated for everything? When they get involved, the citizens are upset. Whenever they introduce a new tax, the people cry.

    Is personal responsibility out the door? How about trying to help yourself, before looking for help from others.

    Like 12
    Dislike 1
  21. Thank you Minister says:


    Like 16
    Dislike 1
  22. Has to be curbed says:

    The freebies has to stop. Parents claim they cannot afford to pay for exam,what a load of crock.If you can afford to have your kids walking around here with the expensive phones,clothes, Jordan’s you name it,you can afford to pay for your child exam. Or better yet, let them pack bags at the supermarket or wash cars to earn money to help pay for the exam. My daughter is 14 years old and she has a little bank account from her weekly allowance which is $30.00 per week. She put $15.00 in her account and keep $15.00 in her pockets.

    Like 17
  23. smile says:

    CXC more beneficial to expats kids anyhow..they need it to get job in the Caribbean islands. nothing wrong parents paying. cant have government paying for everything. i will pay for mines when the time come for my or dont do it…simple

    Like 5
    Dislike 8
    • @Has to be curbed says:

      We are on the same page. Your kids out here in expensive clothes and everything else and parents running con games on the Government about they can’t afford to pay for their child CXS exam. Well, it’s A WRAP FOR YOU GREEDY,UNGRATEFUL milking the system for all it is worth parents.

  24. Vislander, Towson Maryland says:

    Here in Maryland parents have to pay a fee in order to take the SAT’s and we are also required to pay school dues when they start High School.9th grade, $50.00,10th grade, $75.00,11th grade,$95.00 and 12th grade around $120.00.If not,your child is not going to be allowed to graduate or participate in any school activities. A exam than parents should be paying for they are acting the fool.This should have been done a long time ago.The Government is not or should not be ones ATM MACHINE FOR EVERYTHING.

    Like 14
  25. :) says:

    Some of y’all expect the government to be your husband,your wives and parent for your children. It’s time for the parents to be parents so the government could focus on governing.

    Like 18
  26. Haha says:

    From September 6 2017 to January 23, 2019 the high school was allowed to be a disaster area by NDP with no attention given and no progress on clearing the area or rebuilding our main public High School on Tortola. In barely over 6 months the High School will be ready for students. Let us show our appreciation to the government that made it possible.

    Like 13
    Dislike 4
  27. Lets hear it. says:

    That is a lame excuse. What percentage of the students do not show up. Twenty out of 300. If we want to stop it please say so but do not use the lame excuse of student not showing up. The teachers would also at fault if they take a total time waster and sign them up for exam just because the government will pay for it. Is our budget so squeezed that we cannot afford a $40, 000 per year to pay for exams for the children?
    Can each at large member contribute $10,000 from their funds because I don’t really see how they spend the funds in the at large system.

    Like 1
    Dislike 11
  28. #haha says:

    The initial preparations and ground work began long before the current government was sworn in.

    Give credit where it is due. Political dishonesty for the sake of it is, well, dishonest.

    The final product will benefit the children of all the party supporters, not just the VIP supporters.

    We are one people living in a little boat. Together we could rise to better than before.

    This should be our thinking. Live and think truth and honrsty. Leave political and intellectual dishonesty alone. Such contaminates the soul.

    Like 6
    Dislike 9
    • Haha says:

      Only a fool will give credit to a government that allowed students to go to school in tents and failed to even start to rebuild the high school well over a year after the hurricanes. Allow me to show you the real political dishonesty that you mentioned. The HOA was dissolved on January 24, 2019. The Government website announced the demolition of the damaged buildings on the same day the HOA was dissolved. Don’t take my word for it google it and tuck your tail between your legs. No contract was signed for the repairing or rebuilding of the High School. One final meal for one of their members biggest supporters to guarantee some votes.

      Like 8
      Dislike 4
  29. The Nation says:

    Now they need to stop the freeness at HLSCC as well. People don’t generally appreciate what they get free unless you make them work for it in some way. Re-institue nominal fees for belongers ($50 per credit), give scholarships where deserved and give bursary loans to who can’t pay the $50 pre credit upfront if they apply for the loan (with an agreement that they start paying within 3 months of graduation and an agreement to attach earnings from any pay cheque or something to guarantee payment like their parent co-signing the loan)…only then HLSCC will return to a college campus and not a high school annex.
    It’s a community college people.

    Like 3
    Dislike 2
  30. Get the full facts first says:

    Subject Fee: Per Subject Per Subject
    $12.50 $18.25
    Entry Fee: Per Candidate Per Candidate
    $0.00 $18.00
    Local Fee: Per Candidate Per Candidate
    $10.00 $10.00
    Late Fee: Nov 1 – 15 Dec 16 – Jan 31
    $22.50 $22.50
    Very Late Fee: Nov 16 – 30 Feb 1 – Mar 15
    $37.50 $37.50

    Cost to do your hair once a month $65.00” quote from “Honestly Speaking” comment on VOX POP: Parenst react article.

    These fees are nominal and should be borne by the parents.

  31. strupes says:

    This is the height of assishness….Why should the innocent suffer for the guilty?…It will not be the same kids every year

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
  32. Lone Ranger says:

    I am not a political blinded individual therefore i comment on a rational basis an not on emotion. This decision is a backward move. Am investment in the natural RESOURCES of our country cannot be compared in dollars ans cents. Empower our young people with equal opportunity and you bring a country out of poverty and ignorance. Educate a selected few and you build social classes. THIS IS going back to Uncle Tom days. Our mentality need to see beyond the future and the reprucussions of such a poor decision. Set parameters in place. for example in Grade 10 all students must have a certain GPA and govt invest in all of its students > Raise the bar. not destroy funding for such an investment.An Investment in the youth is the GROWTH and PRODUCTIVITY of this country. Not investments in things Poor decision on the part of this board

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  33. confused says:

    In many Caribbean countries the CXC exams are paid for by the government because it is an investment in their human capital. It amazes me for a population this size that this is the cost cutting the government rather make than not buying the luxury vehicles and the body guard services. What are our priorities and vision for our young people. Are we content with a school leaving exam which is of no use outside the bvi? Even international employers want CXC?

    • TBS says:

      I agree like most on this forum that parents should pay CXC fees. Fees should also be reinstated/instituted for HLSCC, non-belongers entering public schools (we cannot afford to invest in another country’s human resources for free) and absolutely no more back-to-school hand outs!

Leave a Comment