The Prime Minister has said the position of the Education Ministry and other stakeholders is that if the SEA examinations are held in October, as suggested by TTUTA, the first term of the school year would be lost to students entering high school.
Speaking in Parliament on Friday, he said the government has listened to submissions from all stakeholders and the decision was made to hold the exams on August 20, so that placement could take place by October and students would only be disadvantaged for six weeks. He said other students would begin the school term as usual, and would not be affected by the date.
He said the proposed $20 million figure to be spent on stipends for teachers who would be teaching the SEA students would be prudently spent if it meant that the students would be able to go back to school.
Rowley said he was not aware that TTUTA had rejected both the proposed stipend and returning to work in July.
He said if that meant that teachers were unwilling to return to work during their vacation period, even if it meant students would be helped, he would be very disappointed.