Thursday 24 September, 2020

School reopening, SEA dates unchanged

Stock image

Stock image

Despite almost ten schools being closed due to concerns over COVID-19 exposure, no new decisions have been taking to alter the September 1 reopening of school or the August 20 date slated for the sitting of the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA). 

Speaking at the Ministry of Health’s press conference, Chief Medical Officer, Dr Roshan Parasram said that it’s on the Ministry of Education to make any further determinations. 

“The Ministry of Health continuously makes recommendations to multiple stakeholders including the Ministry of Education; we have education representatives on our multi-sectoral committee, we will continue to do so but matters related to schools and examinations lie with the Ministry of Education,” Parasram said. 

Line Minister Terrence Deyalsingh also sought to clear up rumours that any further action had been taken regarding schools.

The statements come after the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA) called for the immediate closure of all primary schools on Sunday. 

Growing concerns among parents and teachers were vocalised after the closure of schools scattered across Trinidad. 

Dr Parasram said the health sector is continuing their discussions with education stakeholders but reiterated that recommendations are all they can offer at this time. 

While responding to the media, Minister Deyalsingh also indicated that he had received correspondence from Minister of National Security Stuart Young who conveyed that an error had been made with regard to the date of lawful reopening of schools.   

Current regulations state that educational establishments are to remain closed, the only exceptions being those used to prepare students as well as administer examinations for the SEA, CAPE and CSEC. These regulations are in effect until September 30, 2020.  

Describing it as an 'oversight', Deyalsingh said they would be working with the Ministry of Education to correct the error. 

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