Students forced to resit exams they already passed

September 01, 2017
Ruel Reid

The private sitting of examinations for students who desire an early start continues to haunt parents as some schools refuse to accept the passes if the sitting was not done at the institution.

The matter was relayed to our news team following the disbursement of the latest CSEC results.

A parent, whose daughter is a fourth-form student at a prominent all-girls institution located in St Andrew, said the pupil attained grades one and two in English and mathematics.

But the school is not willing to accept the results and the child is required to resit at the school.

"All these schools care about is the ratings. Why is it that my child and other parents' children have to resist examinations once it was done outside? A pass is a pass, and the child can now focus on other subject areas," the disgruntled parent said.

National Parent-Teachers Association of Jamaica President Everton Hannam said that the issue is a reoccurring one.

Hannam said, "The child's education comes before any ratings and ranking and that is what is killing us in many instances. The schools are just concerned about their ratings and a number of things that are happening in school that will affect their ratings and ranking are not brought to the fore because they want their school to remain in the top five or top 10."

He said the organisation is very alarmed that this is still happening.

"The dialogue has to continue, because I am sure there can be some amicable understanding that can be reached. School administrators have to just work with the realities that exist, and the conditions that exist in their institutions, for the betterment and the improvement of education," Hannam said.

Education Minister Ruel Reid told THE WEEKEND STAR that there is no clear policy regarding the issue, so schools are allowed to develop their own.

He said it is a matter for the ministry to look into in light of the frequency of complaints. He said the ministry can have the National Council on Education advise on how to proceed.

Both Reid and Hannam accept that if the school rules were always in place, then the parents have a responsibility as well.

Reid said, "If there is an issue where only now the school is insisting on that, then to me that would be an unfair breach of natural justice. However, having enrolled in the school for all these years and you know that's the policy, then you can't ask the ministry now to intervene."

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