Posted by: nastylittletruths | June 1, 2008

The CXC Fallout Continues

I met a couple at an Indian Arrival Day function on Friday night and the frustration was evident during our conversation about the continuing drama with CXC exams. They had a double whammy as it turned out and still no end to their troubles as yet.

The couple said that they must be in the US week of June 9th so they bought tickets to fly out on June 7th. Even though both children still had exams (as per their original schedule) until June 11th, they had no choice but to leave and let the children follow them by flying out on June 12th. Return tickets all had a return date of June 28th.

First problem – CAPE II exams went on hold so everything was up in the air until a new time table was sorted out. When it did come out, elder child had to be back in Trinidad by June 26th latest as first exam is scheduled for June 27th. Second problem – the Maths and English CSEC exams have to be re-written so younger child has to be back in Trinidad for those two on June 18th and 19th. Biggest problem – what to do?

Approaching Caribbean Airlines, they were told that it will cost US$125 each to change the booking PLUS the difference in airfare on the date of travel. Having booked early, their estimated costs are US$350/ticket plus younger child has a vacation of 5 days maximum. Tossing the original ticket for the younger son started to look like an attractive option instead of spending more money for a shorter vacation, but guilt shelved that plan. As the mother asked, how can she do that? Also, the neglect the child feels may not put him in the best mood to re-write these exams. He fails miserably and the world will move on…

I thought I had problems, but when you meet people like this who feel cornered without any escape, I can’t help but feel for them too. I also start asking myself if the Ministry of Education thought about all these ramifications when they asked that the exams be re-done? Against all forms of natural justice,  everyone is being punished here. And what if, because of the stress levels, the students performance is not at its best? Can anyone measure this? Can anyone say for a fact that all these students are not going back to these exams at a disadvantage? I will be one to look on the bright side and say another chance may be better, but that’s me, not 18 and 19 year old children…

And about the money part. I am sure a lot of parents did make travel and vacation plans for their children – especially the ones who were writing exams – can’t the Government ask Caribbean Airlines to waive their ad-on fees in this case. It was no fault of the parents, nor the children, and this is just another punishment meted out to them. The grinding pressure of being a Trinidadian never ends…



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