Minister of Education, Dr the Honourable Tim Gopeesingh
April 23, 2012:
The Ministry of Education on October 17th, 2011 confirmed the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) will be held on May 10th, 2012.
Minister of Education, Dr Tim Gopeesingh also said the SEA format was going to be revised to include other subject areas, including Physical Education and Agricultural Sciences.
The decision was supported by the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA), National Primary Schools Principals' Association (NPSPA) and the National Parent Teacher Association (NPTA).
First vice-president of TTUTA, Davanand Sinanan said TTUTA felt that SEA in its current format was way too narrow.
“It does not give a true reflection of the child's ability and competencies and we feel that if there is any approach to broaden the range of assessment and competencies we will endorse it and go along with it," Sinanan said.
Sinanan said pupils would not be given the opportunity to participate in extra-curricular activities, such as sports and cultural activities after the exams.
"Those things would have taken place between the SEA in March and the close of (the school term) in July. We had concerns that if the SEA is being moved from March to May, it means that you are going to virtually eliminate those co curricular activities if you are talking about holistic development."
Abzal Abdool, president of the NPSPA, said, "We are getting some feedback from principals and teachers at least for this year. They are comfortable with it and they seem to think that they will be given more time to prepare especially this year and in the future, the children will be getting more time in Standard Five to prepare."
President of NPTA Zena Ramatali said having the SEA examinations in May would allow pupils and teachers more time to prepare for the exams. She said, "Teachers would have extra time with pupils especially with those who need the extra help."
She said the NPTA supported the inclusion of other subject areas saying the exam should not be "a one-shot exam based on the academics only".
Article courtesy www.trinidadexpress.com