Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Going through the SEA motions


Mark Fraser

 Dr Minister, I refer to the Express report of March 10, headlined “SEA headache”. First of all, if you are the Minister of Education who is qualified for that post, why do you need to welcome suggestions on changing the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) system from outsiders? 

Get rid of SEA and place children in schools close to home? Nah, nah, nah... Not until all schools are of equal calibre as learning environments. We all know full well that different schools have different cultures, so to speak. 

And not until children learn how to respect teachers again. Not until all teachers have the same sense of dedication and training. Not until teachers are paid more so that they feel a sense of value for what they labour through each day. (If it weren’t for the vacation periods, teachers would literally go mad, so don’t bother changing the term system either, unless you want mad people guiding your children—though, that may well be the norm since we seem to have mad people guiding our nation.)

SEA and its partner who stormed in from nowhere, the Continuous Assessment Component (CAC), are already in a mess—more like the system assessing our sanity. The pupils, parents, teachers, and perhaps even you, Dr Minister, have not got a proper grip on CAC to date.

We guinea pigs are just going through the motions because we want our children to be in schools where they can develop best academically and in all other aspects. Do a few sessions of drama to cram some miming skills for a single assessment impact on our children’s ability to develop as actors?! 

T Tam-Cruickshank

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