Students writing CSEC and CAPE examinations in the subject of Visual and Performing Arts could find themselves in jeopardy because there is no curriculum officer in the Ministry of Education to oversee the theatre arts and drama components.
Former curriculum coordinator Victor Edwards, who made the claim, said all of the qualified officers who have to assess the practical aspect of the exams have either left or retired. Edwards retired from the programme in January 2014, and since then, Andre Mc Eachnie followed in June of that month and dance officer Allison Seepaul retired in March 2015.
He said the last qualified curriculum officer, Iezora Edwards, who had been doing the work of two officers since February 2015, retired last year. In a letter to the ministry’s chief education officer Harrylal Seecharan, Edwards outlined the struggles he underwent to have these subjects placed on the school’s curriculum. He said that there have been no replacements and requested that vacancies be filled with urgency.
If this does not happen, Edwards said, there is nobody to handle the practical aspect of the CSEC theatre arts, drama at NCSC nor CAPE performing arts. “When I say nobody, I want you to know that none of the music, the visual arts or dance officers could do the assessment.”
He explained that there is a roster for teachers to go out and monitor the practical aspects of the exams and them submit the results to the examination department for assessment . However, there is nobody in curriculum to assess the files, he said .
“Without the submission of the marks of the practicals none of the students from Trinidad and Tobago will be able to pass the examinations since the written part carries between 30 to 40 points and the practicals carries the bulk of between 60 to 70 marks. “There are about 70 schools in TT doing CSEC theatre arts right now and about five schools doing performing arts at CAPE.
An official from the Ministry assured that students need not fear about not passing the subject as the ministry has hired one of the retirees on a temporary basis to oversee this task. The official said that soon, advertisements to have vacancies filled, would be place in the media.