Saturday, December 16, 2017

Tim: Someone must answer

Wrong pupil named President's Medal winner

An investigation has been completed and someone will be held accountable for mixing up the name of the President's Medal winner, says Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh.

A pupil from Naparima High School was told she had scored the highest in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations and was recipient of the President's Medal.

However, the pupil was later informed that she had in fact placed third and another pupil from the same school was the winner.

The parents of the disappointed pupil contacted their Member of Parliament, Fitzgerald Jeffrey, for assistance in the matter.

Jeffrey said an apology from the Education Ministry was not enough.

Yesterday, speaking at the post-Cabinet news conference at the Office of the Prime Minister, St Clair, Gopeesingh disclosed that an investigation was completed into the matter.

He said the issue was brought to his attention last week when he learnt that something went wrong among three senior officials at the ministry—the senior human resource officer who is in charge of the scholarships committee; the assistant registrar; and the acting chief education officer.

"My understanding is that information was sent from CXC (Caribbean Examination Council) to all three of them and they seemed to have some difficulty amongst themselves and someone released the incorrect information before it was supposed to be released.

"I've asked the permanent secretary to launch an investigation into it ... I just spoke to her a while ago, she indicated that she has in fact completed the investigation and when I go back to the ministry this afternoon I will see the response on the investigation. Somebody has to be held accountable," said Gopeesingh.

He added: "It goes back to the Minister of Education, the buck stops with me, but when I have three senior officers of the Ministry of Education with that degree of problem emanating amongst themselves we have to deal with that in a most efficient manner and a very responsible manner and I await the information from the report."

Gopeesingh said the outstanding pupils all scored "ones" in the various subject areas, but CXC uses a "raw scoring system" so the pupil who was named first in error had actually placed third. See Page 12 Opinion