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Jeff unaware of exam leak

Principal Jeff Broomes has denied either endorsing or condoning a teacher’s alleged divulging of a Physical Education final exam to a class of students.

The teacher accused of the act, temporary teacher Roger Broomes, who is the principal’s cousin, denied it during testimony at the Commission of Enquiry into Alexandra.

And today Broomes followed suit, saying that he was unaware of any leaked final exam to students of a fourth form class taught by the other Broomes.

What he was aware of was questions from previous tests being provided to the children as part of their preparation.

The witness told the tribunal today that while it might not have been “the most desirable thing” to have recent questions given to the class to help them prepare, he did not think the general practice was a bad thing.

“I am unaware of any answers being disclosed. I have done lots of open book tests in the United States and I have no problem with that,” he told the commission.

“Every department at Alexandra School, I dare say, maintains a bank of questions and from which they draw from time to time… I think those questions came back too soon, that is my view, … but I have never heard about answers, I never heard that,” the principal added, noting that “even CXC keeps a bank of questions”.

The witness gave a background to the issue, noting that he held a meeting with all of the Physical Education teachers and it was agreed that because of certain challenges there would be no examination set for second and third form students.

In the case of the fourth formers, he added, the other Broomes would have been the one setting the final test papers.

The principal also said that to his knowledge teacher Broomes gave the fourth formers questions in preparation for the exam, some of which would have formed previous exams.

“My position on that matter is that every school, every examination body, develops a bank of questions. It may not be the most desirable thing to have the questions that were done recently reappearing but it has been done from time to time,” the principal testified.

The witness also said he didn’t think it would have been fair to have the children complete fresh examination as a result of the incident.

“At that time to do it in my view would have been sending a wrong message to the children,” he said. Additionally, the principal’s assertion that current head of the school’s English Department Leslie Lett acted similar to teacher Broomes last term was rebutted by Barbados Secondary Teachers Union counsel, Hal Gollop.

After Broomes said, “I think we are making much ado about this, personally, and the exact thing was done this past term by Mr. Lett”, Gollop countered that his instructions were that “it is a misrepresentation of the facts”.

Gollop said the examination had been “given by mistake” in Lett’s case and that he had offered to quash the examination. (SC)

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