THE Minister of Education is asking teachers to support the country’s students who are preparing for the upcoming CXC exams set to begin on July 13.
Anthony Garcia, at a media press conference last week, also asked school principals to give extra support to the students to complete their School Based Assessments (SBA) on time. He said teachers and CXC students will be allowed, from June 7, to go into schools to work on SBAs before its June 30 deadline.
Speaking at a press conference hosted by the ministry at its office on St Vincent Street in Port of Spain, he announced that July 15 is the date for the beginning of CSEC and CAPE exams administered by the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC).
He said that in the meantime, “we are encouraging teachers to lend support we are not telling our teachers they have to do this. Bear in mind that from July 3, teachers will be on vacation. If any of that has to change a discussion with the union must happen.” He asked teachers not to meet with more than five students at a time.
He said teachers who have been successfully helping students with their SBAs online don’t have to meet with students at the school. “We are told there are teachers who want to have that face to face with the students and we are encouraging them to visit the schools during the period June 7 to 30. We will make sure the schools are ready to reduce the risk to those on the compound.”
The distribution of laptops is expected to begin soon to assist teachers and students. He said, “We now have the instruments that would allow our teachers to access the laptops with all the legal implications. We have put several things in place, and we cannot ensure every child will be given a laptop or that every child will have an equal opportunity. But we are doing everything no child is left behind.”
On the issue of the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) exam, discussions will begin this week, Garcia said. Though he shied away from answering other questions relating to SEA, he said issues surrounding the exams are to be discussed with all stakeholders.
He said, “I am hoping before the end of next week we will be in a position (to talk about SEA). TT Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) told us they would get back to their general council and when the general council gives them direction, they will then get back to us and we will decide.”
He said the ministry met with TTUTA last Thursday to specifically discuss SEA. “I am not in a position to divulge any information as yet,” Garcia said.
When asked about transportation for students and the resumption of the feeding programme, Garcia said, “The issue we are focusing on now is the CXC and CAPE examinations. That will not require the attendance of all the students in our school system. It will require the attendance of form five and six students.”