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Tim sends condolences to family

Friday, May 9 2014

EDUCATION Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh yesterday extended deepest condolences on behalf of his ministry and the Government to relatives of SEA student Devindra Boodoo, 13, who committed suicide at his El Socorro home Wednesday, hours before he was to have sat the SEA exam.

Speaking at a post Cabinet press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister in St Clair, Dr Gopeesingh said he is aware of the enormous pressure students are placed in to try and pass for their first choice of Secondary Schools and said discussions are underway on finding ways of either making the exam less stressful or finding an alternative to the exam. (SEE PAGE 8A)

He said the Ministry is in the process of employing more than 730 additional staff to deal with the social and psychological welfare of the students.

President of the TT Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) Davanand Sinanan said while he could not comment directly on Devindra’s death, as he did not know the boy personally, he said the SEA exam placed an “unnecessary stress” on children.

“TTUTA has been indicating that it is an unnecessary stress that students go through. Why do we put our children through this? The pressure parents and teachers place on students is for no good reason,” Sinanan said.

President of the National Parent Teacher Association (NPTA), Zena Ramatali said schools and parents put a lot of pressure on students to perform well and to be placed in a “good” school.

“All schools should come up to standards and we won’t have to stress out the students to access good schools,” Ramatali said.

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