Tuesday, October 17, 2017

SEA date changed: TTUTA shocked, disappointed

A group of pupils react after writing the SEA examination. Photo: Trevor Watson.


The Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers' Association (TTUTA) has criticised the Ministry of Education's decision to change the date of the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) examination.

Education Minister Anthony Garcia recently announced that the SEA exam will be held in March, effective from 2019.

The exam has been held in May for the past few years.

TTUTA and the Trinidad and Tobago National Council of Parent-Teachers' Association (TTNCPTA) have stated their disagreement with the measure.

In a joint statement yesterday, TTUTA president Lynsley Doodhai and TTNCPTA president Zena Ramatali said they were shocked to learn of the decision, which was taken without consultation.

“It is incomprehensible that the Ministry of Education would make such a major decision without any consultation with TTUTA and the TTNCPTA, two of the major stakeholders,” they stated.

The associations said the extra two months helps to better prepare students for the exam.

“We firmly believe that when such significant decisions are to be made, the major stakeholders should be meaningfully consulted. We are of the view that, in this case, the students' best interest should not be sacrificed for expediency.”

Education Minister Anthony Garcia could not be reached for comment yesterday but he had previously defended the decision to shift the SEA exam date saying it would help to improve efficiency.

He said papers would now be marked during the two week of Easter vacation period and, as such, there would be no need to temporarily close schools that are used as marking centres.

Garcia also previously said this would also ensure that teachers selected as markers would not be required to be away from classes.