|Boy tops exam — SEA results today |
By SEAN DOUGLAS Thursday, June 24 2010
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ALL AT SEA: Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh (left) and his deputy Clifton De Coteau yesterday's press conference where Gopeesingh announced SEA r...
FROM nine o’clock this morning, some 17,270 pupils across the country will learn which secondary school they have been assigned to based on results of the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) examination they wrote in April.
Minister of Education Dr Tim Gopeesingh yesterday at a news conference at his St Clair office said the full SEA results would be released today rather than tomorrow as he said the results need not first be sent to Cabinet.
“Our decision is based solely on our promise of good governance that places a special emphasis and return to transparency and accountability at all levels of Government,” Gopeesingh said. He also revealed that this year’s top SEA pupil is a boy, although he refused to name the pupil or give the name of his school. This is in contrast to past years when girls usually topped the exam and which was no different last year when Jameela Forde (San Fernando Girls’ Government) and Danielle Seunarine (Dayanand Memorial Vedic School), tied for first place.
Gopeesingh said the results would be available through pupil slips given to each school principal, by texting to a pupils cell-phone or online at the Ministry’s website.
He hit the former regime, “I wish to point out that it was under the former PNM administration under Education Ministers Hazel Manning and Esther Le Gendre, over the last eight years, that had set the questionable precedent of taking the results of the SEA to Cabinet first, before releasing them to principals, students, their parents and the public an entire day after.”
“It is our belief that in order to maintain the integrity and transparency of the process by which the SEA results are given to the public, there should be no avenue for possible contamination and pre-release of these results.”
He said there is no reason whatsoever for the SEA results to be sent to Cabinet before being released to the public.
Gopeesingh hinted at a continuation of the former government’s policy that a child scoring less than 30 percent should not go to secondary school, once still less than 13 years of age and having not written the exam more than twice. These students would repeat the exam. He said this year 2,000 pupils earned less than 30 percent, of whom some 425 will repeat the SEA. He said this worked out to be 11.6 percent of all pupils, compared to last year’s rate of 11.2 percent.
He said 1,575 pupils scored less than 30 percent but are over 13 years old and so would be placed in a secondary school where they can receive remedial help.
Newsday asked about the National Test being sat this week by pupils in Standards 1 to 4. He replied, “There seems to be a need for a review of that because of undue stress for the students and parents because of testing through the different years and Standard 5. We intend to review the whole process.”
Gopeesingh remained optimistic of keeping Government’s vow to supply laptops to all SEA pupils. He said an Inter-ministerial committee has been set up and that yesterday a note was sent to his Permanent Secretary to give to Cabinet which listed all the relevant factors to be considered in supplying the laptops. These issues include: cost, availability, procurement, software, and the weight and size of the devices.