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.
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