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way forward until the ministry,
through the permanent secre-
tary, issues a directive to prin-
Other principals contacted on
the matter also pointed out they
too could not provide parents
with any information, adding
some of them were being ver-
bally abused by some frustrated
parents as a result. They noted
that with places in SEA classes
usually limited, it was important
to organise repeaters early.
Contacted on the issue last
week, ministry officials said, "A
document is being finalised to
be presented to cabinet for
approval that will inform the
Initially, in e-mailed responses
to questions posed by the T&T
Guardian on July 11 on the mat-
ter, the Ministry of Education
said pupils who wish to repeat the examination should
meet two criteria.
"Existing standard five students who wish to repeat
the SEA in 2013/14 can do so subject to the following:
a) the pupils should fall below the cut off age of 15
years at the time of writing the exam in 2014 and b)
the pupils should redo their CAC assessment activities
in standard five to contribute to the SEA in 2014."
When asked if the students would have to repeat
the fourth standard as a consequence of the CAC
having two components, a ministry official said, "No."
The response stated, "The standard four component
was only a pilot this year and is expected to be fully
implemented for the coming year."
When asked how the ministry plans to deal with
the repeating pupil, if the child does not have to repeat
standard four and if the CAC component is left out,
the response stated, "These standard five pupils will
simply repeat the standard five work, which will include
the standard five assessment activities, just as the other
students in the class."
When asked in follow up questions about the exact
components the pupil will have to repeat and whether
the pupil will have to do the additional components
which are to be introduced later this year, the ministry
official did not respond.
Contacted on the matter, Trinidad and Tobago Unified
Teachers Association s (TTUTA) general secretary,
Peter Wilson, said this, among other issues, had been
raised with Gopeesingh on the introduction of the
He said, "This is why we are saying they (the ministry)
are not sorted out with how to deal with these issues."
Wilson said it was not just a case of the pupil having
to repeat standard four. He said a clear policy needs
to be worked out and communicated.
Parents seeking to have their
children repeat the Secondary
Entrance Assessment (SEA)
examination next year are com-
plaining that the process has
been stymied by an apparent
lack of directive.
The problem, the parents say,
appears to be arising out of how
repeating students will do the
two phases of the Continuous
Assessment Component (CAC)
which now contributes to the
overall SEA mark.
Parents told the T&T
Guardian that some principals
are saying "clear directives" have
not been given as to the proce-
dure needed to be taken for
pupils who wish to resit the SEA
For the 2013/14 academic year
and onward, 20 per cent of
marks, gained in standards four
and five from the CAC, will go towards pupils final
SEA results. A CAC was added to the creative writing
aspect of the SEA exam this year.
Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh said in the
new academic year additional aspects of the CAC, such
as citizenry development, will be introduced.
In a phone interview with the T&T Guardian, a prin-
cipal, who wished not be identified, said the ministry
had not provided clear directives as to what should be
done. She said it was being rumoured that pupils will
have to return to the standard four level in order to
do the first phase of the CAC. She pointed out that
principals could not give parents any directive on the
Ministry yet to organise CAC framework
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