Education Minister Anthony Garcia said secondary schools have not yet been supplied with laptops, under his revised programme of not supplying individual pupils but rather giving a limited number to their schools. His update came in his Budget contribution on Friday in the House of Representatives.
He said his ministry had been “well on the way” to supplying laptops to schools, but an error arose at the Central Tenders Board (CTB) that caused the programme to be paused. Garcia said the problem will soon be rectified and the laptops supplied.
He said his ministry will soon appoint 68 student aides to provide support to pupils who are physical or intellectual challenged. Press adverts have been placed recently to recruit such staff he said. Garcia said the ministry also gives financial and technical support to 14 private schools for special-needs children.
Regarding the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) Exam, he said the Government had removed the “yoke” of the Continuous Assessment Component. The Ministry has also reformed the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) curriculum. Garcia said school supervisors had told him of a marked reduction in school violence.
Garcia boasted that in his constituency, Holy Cross College and Arima Central Secondary School will soon be expanded to each include a sixth form. He said the ministry’s efficiency has improved since moving into the Education Towers in Port-of-Spain. The Lower House Budget Debate will resume today at 10 am.