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SEA pupil commits suicide

...TTUTA - this examination is cruel and inhumane

By Alexander Bruzual and Sue-Ann Wayow

A boy due to write the Secondary Entrance Assessment examination today, committed suicide in his backyard yesterday.

Devindra Boodoo, 13, of Sadhoo Trace, Aranguez, was found hanging, at around 4.30 p.m. He was a pupil of the El Socorro Hindu Primary School.

The body was found by his grandfather who realised the boy had gone missing from the family home, and went in search of him.

The Education Minister's communication's manger Alicia Busby told the Express that the Ministry learnt of the child's death last evening, and that members of the Student Support Services went to the El Socorro Primary Hindu School at 7a.m. today to counsel teachers and pupils. The SEA examination for the pupils began at 9a.m. and was completed at around noon.

President of the Parent/Teachers Association Zena Ramatali said she had not heard of the child's death but that "the child must have been under tremendous pressure".

And TTUTA's First Vice President Devanand Sinanan said that the SEA should be replaced with another form of assessment. Sinanan said it was cruel and inhumane to ask 12 and 13-year-olds to sit for a three hour examination.

Sinanan said TTUTA was saddened by news of the death.

(from the Multimedia Desk - richard.charan@trinidadexpress.com)
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