rewarded: Lane Amichan, of Naparima College, one of the top pupils in the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) over the last four years, is presented with an award by Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh during a ceremony hosted yesterday by the ministry at the Centre of Excellence in Macoya. —Photo: AYANNA KINSALE

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...Top official to handle mix-up over CSEC medal

By Camille Bethel camille.bethel@trinidadexpress.com

The Director of Public Administration will decide what action will be taken against top Ministry of Education officials responsible for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) mix-up in the naming of the President's Medal winner, Minister of Education Dr Tim Gopeesingh said yesterday.

The ministry last week completed an investigation into how a pupil from Naparima High School was told she had scored the highest in the CSEC examinations and was recipient of the President's Medal when, in fact, she had placed third.

Speaking with the media during the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) awards ceremony at Centre of Excellence, Macoya, Gopeesingh said: "Today (yesterday) a letter was sent by the Permanent Secretary (Kathleen Thomas) to the director of Public Administration recommending that they investigate the matter and take whatever disciplinary action deemed necessary with the three officials of the Ministry of Education.

"I believe they sent that letter this morning (yesterday), they might have been meeting this evening and the three people involved are the assistant registrar, one officer from the Human Resource Management section in charge of looking after examinations and the supervisor of examinations."

Gopeesingh said they were the ones identified as having created the irregularity by putting the wrong candidate forward.

"And we had to take some action following the investigation," he added.

Giving an update on the continuous assessment programme in primary schools, Gopeesingh said a meeting was held with the entire curriculum team yesterday morning.

"And we are ironing out the difficulties we are experiencing and tightening up the system day by day with more training of the teachers and more training in the assessment methodologies and the interaction with the students, so that at the end of this year things will be much better on it."

He said last week a meeting was held with all of the Government primary school principals and people representing the school boards, which is why they held the curriculum meeting yesterday.

At the SEA awards ceremony, approximately 800 pupils who topped the SEA from 2009 to 2012 received bonds worth $1,000.

Gopeesingh told the pupils and parents that he got the approval for the increase from $500 to $1,000 through a Cabinet note and the payment was being made retroactively to the pupils from 2009 to 2012.

"So four groups of students in the top 200 have received bonds of $1,000," he said.

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