Casandra Thompson-Forbes

One Standard Five pupil in Tobago will not be allowed to sit the highly-anticipated Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) exam today after the child tested positive for COVID-19.

The announcement was made at the Post-Executive Council news conference yesterday by Secretary for Health, Wellness and Family Development Councilor Tracy Davidson-Celestine.

“We have had several SEA students swabbed and tested who have since returned negative at this point. However, there is one positive SEA student and that person will not be allowed to sit the SEA exam tomorrow,” Davidson-Celestine said, noting the student was now under quarantine while receiving treatment.

Davidson-Celestine said arrangements are yet to be made for the student to sit the exam at a later date

“At this point in time, the information is one of those students has since tested positive and would not be able to sit the SEA exam. I’m advised that arrangements, not sure, might have to be made for another time, that is yet to be confirmed,” she said.

Meanwhile, 997 students will sit the SEA examination in Tobago today – 510 boys and 487 girls.

Assistant Secretary in the Division of Education, Innovation and Energy Marisha Osmond said, all schools are prepared for the examination, while strict health protocols will be in effect for the safety of both teachers and students.

“We are saying to the parents who are bringing off their boys and girls that of course, you make sure they come with their hands washed, make sure they have their masks with them and of course come with their sanitizer because it is important you know the time we are living in, it is COVID-19 time and of course we want our boys and girls to be safe, so every precaution that has to be taken should be,” Osmond said.

Osmond said parents are to take their students to school on time and collect them immediately after the examination to avoid loitering on school compounds. She also said social distancing would be adhered to in the classrooms.

Secretary for the Division Kelvin Charles also visited several schools on the island yesterday to ensure all measures were in place.