Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd said it would be “too problematic” for the Ministry of Education to give special consideration to students taking national exams who were displaced by Hurricane Dorian, stressing that changing the exam schedule would impact students applying to colleges or entering certain class “streams” in senior high schools.
He acknowledged that the decision had not yet been made regarding the Bahamas Junior Certificate (BJC), however, he said that he finds it unlikely that any adjustments would be made and also highlighted that there would be no exceptions at all for the Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE).
“We can’t. We can’t, because it has too many implications,” Lloyd said.
“It’s too problematic to make adjustments to the exam schedule, especially with the BGCSE.
“There might be the availability to make some adjustments with regard to the BJC, but we certainly can’t do it with the BGCSE because in order for us to do that, we’d have to then push back college decisions, admissions to universities, both here in New Providence as well as the United States.”
The minister noted, “We haven’t made that decision [about the BJC] yet and it is again because we want to be sure that we are not going to injure students who are going to be needing BJCs, say to go into respective streams within the high school – so they’re going to be moving from junior high to senior high at C.I. Gibson and C.R. Walker and so on.
“So, those are very important for us to consider it, and I will say by the end of January we will know for sure whether there’s going to be any adjustment in the BJC. We can’t make any adjustments in the BGCSE. We can’t.
“As a matter of fact, this coming week, the Cambridge assessment team is in The Bahamas and we are going to be discussing all of that. But I can’t see it, it would be too problematic.”
Lloyd added, “However, what we are doing, and have done, is to assist those students in getting ready.
“We have additional classes, we have classes on Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays, classes in the afternoon [and] more tutorials are being provided so that they could be ready.
“And don’t forget, we established a virtual school so students in those respective islands now can tune in and get classes that they ordinarily would not have been able to get; and or [they] would be able to access quizzes that are now in the library in those respective courses.”
The Ministry of Education in November announced the development of a virtual learning program through One on One Education Services Limited.
In the meantime some schools on Grand Bahama and Abaco remain inoperable four months after Dorian wreaked havoc on those islands.
In the storm’s aftermath, some of the displaced students had to enroll in schools on New Providence in an effort to continue their studies.
Last week, Lloyd said that schools that have opened on Abaco are limited but that repairs will begin on them in early January.
According to an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) report, Dorian caused $72 million of damage to schools on Abaco and Grand Bahama.