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Late SEA start for two schools

Friday, May 4, 2018
Dianne Dubarry embraces her son Donovan, a student of the Princes Town Presbyterian No 1 Primary School, following his completion of the SEA exam yesterday. PICTURE RISHI RAGOONATH

Pupils at two schools sat the Secondary Entrance Assessment Examinations later than other schools across the country yesterday. Other than this minor hiccup, however, the exams passed off well for the 19,208 students who were registered to sit it.

At the Curepe Presbyterian School yesterday, one parent told the T&T Guardian the exam started an hour late.

“Parents and students already stressed with exams had to endure the stress caused by incompetence. Unsuspecting and anxious parents going to collect students for 12.30 were turned away and told to return to 1.30 pm,” a parent said.

But the Ministry of Education denied this, saying the exams were delayed by 28 minutes and not one hour.

The release said there was a total of 19,208 pupils registered for the examination, which included 325 special needs pupils who benefited from concessions such as extra time, sign language interpreters, large print or Braille scripts, preferential seating, provision of a writer or reader.

Education Minister Anthony Garcia thanked all principals, teachers, monitors, school supervisors and support staff for their role in ensuring a successful SEA 2018 exam.

The St Joseph Boys’ Government School also had a 15-minute delay due to a nearby bush fire, a ministry official said.

At Richmond Street Boys’ Anglican School, pupils cheered loudly and screamed as they exited the classes after the exam. In an interview, Stefano De Gale, 12, said he hopes he passes for Fatima College and plans to be a future pilot.

“It was a little bit of both (hard and easy), but I studied hard,” he said.

Jordan Hamlett, 11, a student at the same school, said he hoped to pass for St Mary’s College because his father Henry Hamlett was a student there years ago.

“I was well prepared for the maths and creative writing,” he said.

His mother, Marcia Hope, said her son was confident and a hard worker.

“He has always been in the top of his class and we are allowing him to be a child,” she said.

In south Trinidad, the majority of pupils interviewed couldn’t wait to get some relaxation following months of preparation for yesterday.

Parents of pupils at Princes Town Presbyterian No 2 School were greeted with bright smiles as their children came out the compound. The school also houses children from Presbyterian No 1, who were relocated there after their school was closed down two years ago.

Some of the students said the exam was easy while others had difficulties with the mathematics and language arts papers.

Matthew Dass said, “It was good. It was kind of difficult, some in the maths.”

Dass, who wants to attend Presentation College, said he wants to relax and was looking forward to going La Vega Estate on Monday.

Parents of students attending Presbyterian No 1 said they were relieved their children were leaving the school.

Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association president Lynsley Doodhai said he did not receive any reports about any problems yesterday.


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