Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly has indicated that an announcement will be made this week as to the administration of the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) exam which is scheduled for June 10.
Revealing a decision would be made only after they “look at the numbers this week” as to “whether the date will be adjusted,” she said a precedent was already set in relation to SEA 2020.
Last year’s SEA exam was postponed from April 2, 2020 to August 20, 2020, following the closure of all schools on March 16, 2020 – after Trinidad and Tobago’s first COVID-19 case was diagnosed on March 12, 2020.
Gadsby-Dolly told Guardian Media yesterday that adjustments had been made back then, “So there is precedent in this matter.”
Asked about the exam during Saturday’s media briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s – Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said that is a discussion that will be had this week and the education minister would make the final announcement.
And even though the Ministry of Education (MOE) has been moving ahead with plans to administer the SEA exam next month, the T&T Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) has advised school officials not to risk their health and safety by going out to schools if they have not been vaccinated.
Gadsby-Dolly said government’s number one priority was keeping citizens safe and following measures by the government to reduce the virus spread over the next week, she said the success of these efforts would impact greatly on the way forward for both students and examinations.
She assured, “While the examinations are important, and all possible preparations are being made for their safe implementation, they are not more important than the health of the population; and the latter will not be sacrificed for the sake of the former.”
She said the names of all school personnel been handed over to the Ministry of Health as requested, “for priority consideration with respect to the vaccination program.”
President of the National Primary Schools Principals Association (NAPSPA), Carlene Hayes said the association recorded a decrease in the number of teachers volunteering to supervise the SEA 2021.
She said, “As the number of COVID-19 positive cases increase, many teachers will want to avoid putting themselves at risk.”
Hayes said with many educators having been denied the vaccine because they did fit the criteria, “NAPSPA holds the view that teachers and principals should not put themselves at risk at this time.”