Redman raises new concerns about integrity of exams

Concern has been raised that the integrity of the School Based Assessment (SBA) for some students could be compromised, with the correction of these papers by some heads of departments and, in some cases, temporary teachers.

President of the Barbados Secondary Teacher’s Union (BSTU) Mary Redman said today the situation was “particularly distressing”, even as she maintained that the union would be pressing ahead with its plan not to have its members correcting the SBAs unless they were paid to do so.

Last month the BSTU announced that its members would not submit final marks for students who had undergone the SBA programme. The teachers are demanding adequate compensation for correcting the SBAs, which are administered by the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC).

Despite sound warnings from Government that the teachers could face disciplinary action if they maintained their position, Redman told Barbados TODAY this afternoon “our teachers are going ahead with the plan” to submit uncorrected SBAs to the CXC so they could “pay qualified persons in the specific subject areas to correct the exams”.

However, Redman said she was gravely concerned that some temporary teachers were being “bullied” into correcting SBAs.

Barbados Secondary Teachers Union President Mary Redman,
Barbados Secondary Teachers Union president Mary Redman

“An area of grave concern to us really is the fact that some of our members have been handing in the SBAs uncorrected for forward submission to CXC and heads of departments and temporary teachers are being coerced to correct these SBAs,” reported Redman.

“There is a particularly distressing situation at a school where one of our members handed in about 240 labs at 3:30 Tuesday evening and by 1:30 on Thursday afternoon he was told that they had all been corrected by the head of department, who had not taught the subject for about ten years, and that the marks had been submitted,” she said.

This, said Redman, “raises all sorts of questions about the integrity of the process and the attitude of the Ministry through the schools to correct the SBAs by any means necessary”.

She argued that such actions “fell totally outside” the aim of the union, which she said was to maintain the integrity of the process.

“That was our intention in handing in the SBAs uncorrected so that they would be corrected in a way that did not raise questions as to the integrity of the whole process. These are different parameters being brought to bear on the whole situation,” said Redman.

The original deadline for submission of corrected SBAs to CXC was April 30th. However, the BSTU head said she was “hearing about deadline extensions”.

And while she could not say how much of the SBAs were corrected so far, she said “at some schools the teachers have been able to hold out in a way that has not happened at other schools where our members have been, when submitted, redistributed to other teachers, usually temporary teachers, who have been coerced and bullied and some heads of departments to be corrected”.

“The thing is that CXC tends to stipulate that to correct the subject you have to be qualified in it and you have to be actively teaching it, and this is not what is happening right now in this mad rush to get the SBAs corrected by any means necessary,” she added.

To her detractors, Redman said instead of talking they should first get to understand the process and what the teachers were experiencing.

“They have no idea of the hours of work that goes into every SBA for each student in your class. You may have 30 students in one class and you may teach more than one class at the fifth form level and you may also teach at the sixth form level. So many of our teachers deal with hundreds of SBAs,” she said.

Also see: Protest action by Combermere teachers on hold

13 Responses to IN BREACH?

  1. Peter Gilkes
    Peter Gilkes April 22, 2015 at 1:32 am

    quite honestly i am sick and tired of seeing this woman Redman in the press, is she paid to teach or is she paid to object to everything in education, I say get to work and stop loafing and teach the taxpayers children that she ought to be teaching, time they stop being guided by irrelvant talk show host.

  2. Neysa Huey
    Neysa Huey April 22, 2015 at 3:52 am

    Here she goes again! Samples from each class have to be handed into CXC for the marking to be checked. And if any questions arise, then CXC can ask for more or all to review. There will be no problems with the SBAs. Just egg in her face that the children of our nation haven’t been screwed over for her cause.

  3. Neysa Huey
    Neysa Huey April 22, 2015 at 4:03 am

    Also marking guides for those SBAs would have been preapproved by senior teachers in the various schools and by CXC. So any teacher who knows that subject can follow the marking guide to correct the SBAs.

  4. Richard Watson
    Richard Watson April 22, 2015 at 5:45 am

    This spiteful, pitbullish and nasty spirit being push by these unions do more harm to the learning of our youths and it is time that our 40000 plus parents push back hard against them.

  5. David April 22, 2015 at 5:45 am

    When last did you Mary Redman been in a class room to teach?

  6. Christine Noel
    Christine Noel April 22, 2015 at 5:57 am

    It’s very unfortunate that this action is hurting the students ONLY ….. what recourse do they have? Now is the time that they should be concentrating on studying not worrying that they will need to take an alternative exam to compensate for the missed SBA. NOT GOOD!

  7. Peter Gilkes
    Peter Gilkes April 22, 2015 at 6:22 am

    the woman needs to get out of politics and either get back to teaching or retire from teaching and politics, i have had enough of her selfishness and own way behaviour.

  8. Tony Waterman April 22, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    “”She argued that such actions “fell totally outside” the aim of the union, which she said was to maintain the integrity of the process.””
    Mary Mary quite contrary!!!! are you listening to yourself ?? The only aim of you and your merry band of Brigands is to rob the CXC of what little funds they have to operate their Organisation.
    there was no need to maintain the integrity of anything, before you came up with your brain dead scheme to extract funds from the CXC. and here you are telling us that money will fix the problem you caused in the firrt place. Robin Hood could not have done it any better than you Mary.
    The Ministry has to have some “Balls’ (Not all of them) and fire anyone who refused to do what they are already being paid to do.

    • Olutoye Walrond April 22, 2015 at 4:34 pm

      Mr. Waterman, have you ever been employed as a school Teacher? Have you ever done or corrected an SBA? Do you even know what one is?

      I would suggest you stick to things you know about and stop pontificating on matters that might be too high for you.

      Ms. Redman is doing an admirable job of representing the interest of her members, just like all good trade union leaders do.

  9. harry turnover April 22, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    Redman….you told your cohorts not to correct any SBA and they followed YOUR instructions to a T,so what if someone else got their cohorts to correct them ??
    Your cohorts looking for MONEY,those TEMPORY Teachers and others looking for MONEY too…in the form of JOBS.
    You and your cohorts should be glad that OTHERS took on that “HERCULEAN ” task of correcting them…wunna didn’t had to do it,so why wunna GRUMBLING NOW ??

  10. harry turnover April 22, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    However, Redman said she was gravely concerned that some temporary teachers were being “bullied” into correcting SBAs.

    ……and YOU a PERMANENT teacher en” BULLYING” your members into NOT correcting SBAs too ?? some of them may even be TEMPORY too.

  11. harry turnover April 22, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    Redman seems not to UNDERSTAND that some TEMPORY teachers can be just as QUALIFIED or MORE QUALIFIED than some PERMANENT ones.

    Redman says it is TOO MUCH WORK to correct SBAs,but if they are paid it would be a PIECE OF CAKE.

    I say to the Ministry DO NOT PAY THOSE TEACHERS one RED cent.

    If you are going to pay anybody,HIRE UNEMPLOYED or RETIRED Teachers and PAY THEM.


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