Public school teachers not required to invigilate national exams

Public school teachers not required to invigilate national exams

MOE puts out calls for paid invigilator positions

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Ministry of Education has issued a call for invigilators for the BJC and BGCSE exams, as it moves full speed ahead with plans to hold the National Examinations beginning July 13, following their postponement amidst the global coronavirus pandemic. 

The BJC exam is expected to run from July 13 until August 3, and the BGCSE exam until August 14.

Additionally, Grade Level Assessment Tests (GLAT) at Grades 3 and 6 have been canceled for the academic year.

Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) President Belinda Wilson has made clear that government schools will close for the summer break on Friday and anything teachers do after that time is voluntary.

In a circular issued on Monday, the ministry advised that, “Because the examinations are scheduled during the summer vacation, public school teachers are not required to provide invigilation services”.

It invited all who wish to serve as paid invigilators and runners to submit their applications by June 26.

The pay rate is $10 an hour for runners and $15 an hour for invigilators.

The new date for the National Examinations has garnered mixed views, with dozens of people voicing concerns over the readiness of students to take the test and the readiness of schools to host the examinations.

“The ministry acknowledges the concerns voiced about the lack of preparedness by some students to sit the national examinations,” the circular read.

“For the reasons carefully outlined by the Ministry of Education, all students are strongly encouraged to sit the national examinations for which they have registered.

“However, in circumstances where students are unable to participate in the exams at this time, requests for refunds will be considered on a case by case basis by the Examinations Division.

“Any student wishing to make such requests must do so in writing through their school.

“All private candidates should write directly to the Assistant Director of Education, Examinations and Assessments Division. All refund payments are subject to normal Bahamas Treasury refund procedures.

“If any student does not receive formal permission for either a deferral or a refund, please be advise d that they will receive an “X” for the subject, indicating that said student was absent, and this is not considered a grade.”

The ministry has also advised that all examinations will be conducted in accordance with the protocols provided by the Ministry of Health and school administrators will be provided with guidelines for the preparation of examination centers to mitigate against COVID-19.