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Friday 14 August, 2020

TTUTA calls on MoE to discontinue SEA preparation classes

The Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers' Association (TTUTA) is calling on the Ministry of Education to discontinue SEA preparation classes until the COVID-19 situation is brought under control.

In an advisory to its members on Wednesday, TTUTA said the apparent resurgence of cases poses a risk to the students, teachers and students engaged in SEA preparations.

"TTUTA takes no pleasure in reminding all stakeholders that we were against the rush to have pupils sit the SEA exams because of the possible health risks involved. We are therefore calling on the Ministry of Education to discontinue SEA preparation classes until the spread of COVID-19 is brought under greater control. The safety of the nation's children and educators is our priority," it said.

The Association added that it is mindful of the trepidation already experienced by standard five students, their parents and teachers because of the high stakes of the August 20 SEA exam.

TTUTA said the current increase of infections and the fact that at least two schools have been closed because of positive cases further adds to the anxiety.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Education advised that students will sit the exam on August 20, despite the closure of two schools due to recent COVID-19 cases.

Concerning the continuation of physical classes in the lead up to SEA, the Ministry said the situation will be assessed for the remainder of this week. It said it will announce a decision early next week.

Three primary schools have been closed due to recent COVID-19 cases.

Last week, the Maraval RC School was closed after a student tested positive for COVID-19. 

The Tacarigua Presbyterian School was also ordered to close after an Arima delivery driver tested positive for COVID-19.

He was in close contact with eight people at his home, including an SEA student of the Tacarigua Presbyterian School.

The St Augustine Government Primary School is the latest school to be closed.

It follows confirmation that a student has been exposed to a contact of a COVID-19 positive patient.

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