Rhianna Mc Kenzie
Minister of Education Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly says she had not received news of any challenges on Thursday prior to the start of the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) exam.
Gadsby-Dolly visited San Juan Seventh Day Adventist Primary School and Tranquillity Government Primary School in Port of Spain on Thursday morning to ensure health protocols were met ahead of students’ arrival.
At Tranquillity Government, Gadsby-Dolly told media the schools were in a full state of preparedness for the exams and all protocols were in place.
“The children seem to be happy to be out today, so are the parents.
“It’s been an uncertain time for our students who have not been in school since March 2020.”
Gadsby-Dolly said she had a brief chat with a few of the students.
“They are all very excited and they are ready to go.”
Tranquillity Government principal Nicole Guy-Dunbar said although there were some challenges during the year, including students without devices and connectivity, with donations and support from the ministry and stakeholders the school student body is not 75 per cent connected. She said she is hoping for full connectivity in the upcoming academic year.
Guy-Dunbar thanked teachers and parents for their support in the preparation of students for the exam.
“The minister has motivated our students, so I am expecting SEA success for my students.”
She said policy documents from the ministry outlining the reopening of schools together with examination protocols were combined to create a safe environment for students. “We married both and today you can see evidence of planning.”
She said at the end of the exam, students will remain in their seats until their parents return and they will be individually escorted off the compound by a tester.
She said 63 students are writing exams at the school today.
Gadsby-Dolly said concessions were made for some students at the school who required special needs.
At a news conference hosted by the ministry on June 23, Gadsby-Dolly said 19,656 students were registered to write the exam. Of those, 18,592 will write in Trinidad and 1,064 in Tobago. She said 9,905 of the students are boys and 9,751 are girls.