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Friday, May 10, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 09TH MAY, 2013
MELISSA DOUGHTY and
A problematic ratio question in yester-
day s SEA proved difficult for some pupils.
Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh
said yesterday that Chief Education Officer
Harrilal Seecharan informed him of the
But the concept of ratios is "fundamental
to mathematics," Gopeesingh said.
The minister said Seecharan told him the
Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) has
been aligned with the curriculum, and "it
is nothing new."
He added that students being unable to
answer the question was a "weakness on
the part of the teacher," and that was why
the ministry continued to monitor the
implementation of the curriculum.
Gopeesingh said all went according to
plan in yesterday s exam. A school in Las
Cuevas, he said, reported a power outage
but the problem was quickly rectified when
the principal called the Electricity Com-
mission (T&TEC) hotline implemented by
He said all schools started on time and
hoped all would go well in the marking of
the papers by the CXC.
The consensus among many of the 18,039
students who wrote yesterday s exam was
that the maths component was "challeng-
"The maths was kind of hard but the
language arts was easy," said 12-year-old
Leanna Richard, who attends St Ursula s
Girls Anglican School. Her mother Leslie-
Ann Richard expressed relief at the exam s
end and thanked the principal and Standard
Five teacher at the all-girl Anglican school
for the work done with her daughter.
The sentiment at Richmond Street Boys
differed little. Leighton la Rosa described
the exam as "slightly easy." La Rosa, who
hopes to attend Queen s Royal College, also
said the maths was a bit challenging but
the language arts was easy.
"All I did was remember what my parents
and teachers taught me," he said excitedly,
as a group of his friends gathered around
At Sacred Heart Girls RC, the cars of
anxious parents lined the street. When they
finished the exam, the girls ran down the
staircase screaming. One jubilant student
jumped on her waiting mother and
screamed, "It done! It done!"
Another girl was seen crying and hugging
her mother, who quickly took her away.
Sacred Heart Girls student Arissa Romany
also said the maths exam was challenging
but she too described the language arts as
T&T Unified Teachers Association
(TTUTA) general secretary Peter Wilson
said although the association heard reports
of the problem, the executive did not have
enough information to comment.
The National Primary Schools Principals' Association
(NAPSPA) is calling on the Ministry of Education to
disregard the problematic question.
In a statement, the association's president Lynsley A
Doodhai said while the SEA ran smoothly, the NAPSPA
had received many complaints from principals about
the content of the maths component of the SEA.
"Principals have complained to NAPSPA that
question no 35 of the mathematics paper was based on
the topic 'Proportion and Ratio,' a topic that is no longer
on the primary school mathematics syllabus, having
been removed many years ago," Doodhai said.
He said the ministry must engage in dialogue with
the CXC to ensure that such an unfortunate incident is
not repeated in the future.
"NAPSPA is unable to comprehend how the
Caribbean Examinations Council, which has
responsibility for setting the SEA examination, could
have committed this grave oversight, one which
NAPSPA considers totally unacceptable," Doodhai
He also said NAPSPA hoped that the Curriculum
Division of the Education Ministry "would have guided
the CXC as to the topics that were to be tested."
Speaking at yesterday's post-Cabinet press
conference, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
said she sympathised with students, and would seek a
report on the matter from the Education Minister.
Contacted for comment yester-
day, CAL chairman Rabindra Moo-
nan said: "Let me just make one
thing clear. An upgrade is not spon-
"I am not aware of those direc-
tives. I am not supposed to be aware
of these things, because they do
not come to me."
However, Moonan said he had
asked for passengers to be upgraded
"I have asked from time to time.
Note the word: I have asked, never
directed. Upgrades are like a cour-
tesy we extend to people."
In a post on its Facebook page
yesterday, and signed "The Man-
agement, WIN Caribbean Ltd," the
company commented at length on
the T&T Guardian s report on the
free flights obtained by the com-
Saying the report was false, the
company said all applications for
sponsorship had been made to Cor-
bie or through Ross Advertising and
were approved or rejected by them
or by CAL s communications
"Many of the events outlined by
the Guardian took place in North
America, a market that CAL needs
to access, and one that WIN is
already established in. It was a nat-
ural fit for the airline."
WIN gave what it said were fig-
ures for the advertisements CAL
took with a number of media hous-
es, including Guardian Media Ltd
and One Caribbean Media, claiming
that WINTV benefited less than
they did from CAL s advertising
It also said CAL had received
extensive advertising for all the
events on which it had partnered
with WIN. "CAL would have ben-
efited from over $2 million in pro-
motions for WIN as a sponsor of
its events, not just in T&T, but in
North America, where WINTV has
a huge viewing audience because
of its Indian-niched programming."
The release also commented, "It
is curious that now that the national
airline has supported WIN in Indi-
an-niched events such as the
broadcast of Divali Nagar and Chut-
ney in the Park and the Mother s
Day show, that such a damaging
report has been published."
...PM wants report from Dr Tim
SEA pupils stumped by maths question
From Page A1
Communications Minister Jamal
Mohammed says citizens will have two
back-to-back public holidays at the end
of this month.
Speaking at yesterday s post-Cabinet
news conference at the Office of the Prime
Minister in St Clair, Mohammed said based
on the Public Holidays and Festivals Act,
when there were two holidays occurring on
the same day, the next day that is not a
holiday will be declared a holiday.
Indian Arrival Day and Corpus Christi
fall on the same day this year, May 30.
Accordingly Mohammed said both Thurs-
day, May 30 and Friday, May 31 have been
officially designated public holidays.
A release issued by the OPM confirmed
Four-day weekend coming up at end of the month
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CAL chair: Upgrades are a courtesy
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