Principal of the Verchilds High School and CXC registrar Miguel Thomas speaking at a press conference-organized by the Ministry of Education- for the preliminary CXC results on Monday 28th September 2020 (Spokesman Snap)

BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Friday 2nd October 2020) – New principal of the Verchilds High School and CXC (Caribbean Examination Council) registrar Miguel Thomas is not pleased with some instances of the 2020 graded results, according to students’ profiles, concerning his school and is calling for justice on the subject matter.

“…I am hopeful that upon closer scrutiny of the results …other principals can make similar sentiments and I trust that we get some redress in these matters on CXC’s part, and so once again I am grateful for this opportunity, I am grateful for the product on a national level, however, justice is what must be served, and if the students attained a particular grade then that should be reflected.”

Thomas expressed such sentiments at a press conference-organized by the Ministry of Education- for the preliminary CXC results held on Monday 28th September 2020 at the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (conference room) located on Burdon Street.

“I must express some dissatisfaction with the results garnered from the CSEC [Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate] from CXC. As the registrar I pride myself in looking at trends and even as a CSEC Geography teacher I’ve registered some dissatisfaction. For one of the strongest cohorts that I have ever entered, they returned the poorest results-all pass- but they returned the poorest results in my teaching career; that is very, very dissatisfying and it’s something that needs to be looked into. I have already penned a letter. I have looked at the trends over the years and I’m displeased especially when all of your students would have gone in with a full SBA score, and it’s quite dissatisfying to see the profiles that the students would have returned.”

Thomas continued:“…it’s one thing to examine different disciples and recognize 100% passes but when you scrutinized the profiles, we recognize that this does not reflect the quality of students that you would have entered and something needs to be done and so I’m going to take further action through the appropriate channels. We recorded a number of other discrepancies where students’ grades are concerned.”

Notably, his comments came after details were publicised about a 5% increase in the national pass rates.

According to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education William Hodge, “ Apart from Mr. Thomas, we have not received any other direct complaints from principals as yet but they are putting their queries together in terms of the number of persons whose grades they might want to query.”

The CXC registrar gave instances which support his concerns.

“We had one student who did not attempt a component of an exam so the child received zero for that component. However, the child came back with a grade One and the teacher is in disbelief so that’s something that must be addressed in order.”

He also stated that one student recorded a grade one with one A and two Cs in the profile whilst noting “I’ve never seen that in the history of anything- I’m grateful again but that is something …. justice must be served.”

Thomas added: “We recognize, too, that two students with the lowest SBA score for a particular subject registered grade ones and the students with the highest set of scores came back with the lower grades. Those are the things we are seeing in our local context and we recognize that there are major discrepancies as it relates to the verchilds High School…”

Thomas informed that for the past three years, he served as the CXC registrar for the school which was one of his duties as a senior management member.

“As the newly instated principal of the Verchilds High School, I’m the one who deals with CXC or CSEC and CCSLC [Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence] related matters for the institution…I am proud to report that we had 69 out of 77 students sitting both English A and mathematics; that’s something we pride ourselves in. Irrespective of what a pass rate might look, we always afford our students the opportunity to take CSEC English A and mathematics and those students who did not sit were either in what we know as a learning support stream or they would have sat it in a previous academic year while they were in third or fourth form but everyone else was given the opportunity irrespective.”

Thomas continued: “We also noted that 13 disciplines attained 100 % pass rates but we are not so much focused on our pass rates. We are eternally grateful for our students who- and I’m certain that all of the principals can give similar sentiments for those who pass and those given the opportunities to attempt particular CSEC subjects.”