There were no reports of trouble to the special hotline set up by the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission during the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) yesterday but schools around Port of Spain did call the Express to complain about the “shorter than usual pencils” in the SEA packages they received from the Ministry of Education.
The Express was told by T&TEC’s corporate communications manager Annabelle Brasnell, “We had no calls to the line today which means things went smoothly.”
Around 8.30 a.m., a school official calling on behalf of several schools in the area filed a complaint with the Express about the “short pencils” that were sent to the schools in Port of Spain.
“Principals would have collected them on Wednesday and were in shock when they opened the sealed boxes, they came in. Pencils are normally eight cms long these are four cms long, so it is like half a pencil and we really find that it is going to be difficult for these children to write with these pencils.
“We checked with other schools in Port of Spain and they are reporting that they got the same pencils for the children to write the exam.”
The official explained that although most children walk with their own pencils, some can’t afford the pencils and so they depend on what they get.
“And what I am saying if the ministry is providing, it should be something that the children are comfortable with to write the exam.”
Responding to the issue of the short pencils an official at the Ministry of Education admitted that the pencils were indeed shorter than usual but added that it was out of their control since those were the only ones available from the suppliers. —Camille Bethel