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Monday 10 August, 2020

Garcia: 2597 students score below 30 percent in SEA, 932 to re-sit

Education Minister Anthony Garcia has confirmed that a total of 2597 students have scored below 30 percent in the 2018 Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) examination. 

Of that amount, 932 students who were under the age of 13, have a second chance to tackle the exam next year.

Garcia was responding to the urgent question posed to him by Opposition Senator Wade Mark during the Senate on Thursday.

"It is a fact that 2,597 students have scored under 30 percent in the SEA 2018 exam. Of that amount, 932 who were under 13 years old will benefit from an additional year in the primary school and therefore they are required to re-sit the examination in 2019. These students have been identified and specific support will be provided in literacy and numeracy."

"Support for teachers and students will also be provided by school supervisors, student support services and curriculum officers through clinical supervision and teaching and learning strategies for students who may have challenges through learning. The remaining 1665 students have been placed in Servol Junior Life Centres and government secondary schools where an adapted form 1 curriculum will be implemented with a focus on numeracy, literacy, visual and performing arts and technology education. Support for teachers and students will also be provided by school supervisors, student support services, curriculum officers through training of teachers and remedial strategies."

Mark asked whether the Education Ministry conducted socio-economic and psychological analyses of the students who scored below 30% however, Garcia said it was too premature to say.

Garcia did, however, respond to concerns about what the Education Ministry intends to do to ensure the reduction of students scoring low in the SEA exam.

"At long last, Senator Mark is asking a question that makes sense. What we have done at the level of the Ministry is to put things in place so that those students will be able to benefit from the education that we have to offer. For example, we have put in place what we refer to as a student monitoring system where we are looking at students from infant 1 right onto std 5 in the primary schools and in the secondary schools, from form 1 to form 3 where we are looking carefully."

"In addition to that, as I’ve been saying over and over, we have been supplying resources in terms of experts in education who have been assisting the teachers in the classroom at ensuring that they are able to deal effectively with the curriculum. In addition to that, we have mandated that school supervisors should visit the schools on a more regular basis so that they can lend the necessary support to the principal and the students."

Garcia added that a system known as "parenting in education" is in place. He said parents will be tasked with identifying challenges faced by their children in order to bring it to the attention of the student support services division of the Ministry. 

The Minister said if it's beyond the Ministry's ability, the Ministry of Health will be contacted for the necessary assistance.


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