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Ministry to text SEA results

By SEAN DOUGLAS Friday, May 15 2009

At 2 pm on Thursday, June 25, primary school students can check their cellphones for a “text”, to see their Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) exam results, Education Minister Esther Le Gendre announced yesterday.

Results would also be sent by the usual paper-slip to each school, she assured, and be posted online on a website whose “search and retrieval” tool would make it more user-friendly than a previous results website.

“Text messaging won’t replace traditional methods but is simply another option. The paper form remains the official form of communication of results,” Le Gendre said at the post-Cabinet media briefing, Prime Minister’s Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s.

She had got Cabinet’s nod to text the results to students and the dates of registration at their new schools. The cost of texting, she said, was $100,000, made up of $30,000 for enhancements to the ministry and $70,000 to be spent externally, presumably on the private agency she said will be hired to send the texts from the ministry’s database.

Le Gendre said parents would have to register between June 1 to June 23 in order to receive results by text, and the ministry would explain the process in advertisements beforehand.

She justified the text initiative by saying her ministry has a policy to recognise the value of mobile devices in teaching and learning.

The issue of psychological support for students getting results had been considered, she said, saying the texts would be received by them when they were in school and with their teachers.

She added the SEA texts would be of great help to busy parents at work. “Technology makes life easier and brings information a little more quickly.”

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