Jamaican students will sit the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC), and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) tests starting July 27.

Minister with responsibility for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Karl Samuda, made the announcement at a digital press conference at Jamaica House on Monday (May 18).

“We will write the CXC on the 27th of July. It takes about a couple of weeks into August to complete it, but the process will start and the question of social distancing can be accommodated quite easily, because all the other children are out of school and it will be quite convenient. We will get through quite well,” Minister Samuda said.

“We will now go about the business of making the logistical arrangements, so that no one who is taking this exam, beyond the challenges that they have already had, will in any way be compromised,” he added.

Minister Samuda said the decision to go ahead with the exams followed a meeting with 135 principals and several public and private exam coordinators.

The Government had previously indicated that it could not endorse the decision for the sitting of the exams in July, due to the many challenges faced by the students locally as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Minister Samuda pointed out that although not all schools are at the same level of readiness, “we will do our best to ensure that we facilitate our students in the best possible way, give them the best possible chance to maximise their potential going forward”.

The exams will be done through two methods – via the Internet and paper-based.

Additionally, Minister Samuda noted that Jamaica wanted the regional examination body to determine the test mark for the students locally by predictive testing using their Student-based Assessment (SBA) grades.