Discussion on possibly adjusting BJC exam date to take place this week
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Notwithstanding the impact Hurricane Dorian has had on the education system, Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd said yesterday it would be “too problematic” to push back the dates of the national exams.
Thousands of students were displaced when the Category 5 storm raked the northwest Bahamas in early September.
“We can’t, we can’t because it has too many implications,” Lloyd told the media on the sidelines of the 2020 New Year’s Junkanoo Parade.
“You have to remember that there might be some ability to make some adjustments with regard to the BJC, but we can’t certainly do it with the BGCSE because in order for us to do that we would then pushback scholarship decisions, admission to university — both here in New Providence as well as the United States. [There are] too many complications.”
He added: “It’s too problematic to make adjustments in the exam schedule, especially the BGCSE.”
However, the minister said the ministry has been seeking to offset the time lost as a result of the storm by assisting students to prepare for the exam with additional classes on weekends, afternoons and tutorials.
He also said students in the respective islands will be able to take advantage of the virtual classes online to make up for the lost time in the classroom.
When asked if a decision has been made to adjust the date of the BJC exam, the minister said no decision has been made. He said that decision has to be well considered to ensure students are not impacted negatively.
“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 schools,”
“They are going to be moving from junior high onto senior high: Anatol [Rodgers]; CR Walker; CI Gibson and so on. So, those are very important for us to be considering and I would say by the end of January, we will know for sure whether there is going to be any adjustment in the BJC — [but] you can’t make any adjustment in the BGCSE.
Lloyd added that an assessment team from Cambridge is expected to arrive in The Bahamas this week. He said ministry officials intend to discuss the matter, among others, with that team.
A November 4 report prepared by the Department of Education indicated that 2,835 students were displaced — 2,583 from Abaco and 252 from Grand Bahama — by the Category 5 storm.
The majority of those students were relocated in schools across The Bahamas,.
According to the Hurricane Dorian Displaced Students School Assignments (Public and Private), 1,367 displaced students were enrolled in New Providence public schools while another 57 were placed in “other” schools, which included private and special needs schools.