EDUCATION Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly presented figures which suggested better scores in this year’s Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) Exam from last year, although a ministry statement given to reporters warned that recent changes to the exam structure would limit such comparisons.
She addressed an SEA awards function at her ministry in Port of Spain also attended by Minister in the Ministry of Education Lisa Morris-Julien, plus pupils and their parents and teachers.
Gadsby-Dolly said the average mark for English Language Arts Writing was 57 per cent, up from 50 per cent last year. The English Language Arts score was 60 per cent, up from 53 per cent last year. However she added that this year’s average mark for Mathematics was 52.9 per cent, compared to 53.4 per cent last year.
Gadsby-Dolly said this year 63 per cent of pupils scored over 50 per cent, some 11 percent scored under 30 per cent, while 1.61 per cent scored over 90 per cent. Last year, 52 per cent of pupils got over 50 per cent, 13.7 per cent got under ten per cent and 0.69 per cent scored above 90 per cent.
These figures suggest an improvement at all three bands - average, low-scoring and high-scoring. Some 19,201 pupils wrote SEA, namely 9,681 boys and 9,520 girls.
Otherwise Gadsby-Dolly said the function was expanded from the usual recognition of the SEA’s top three pupils to also acknowledge eight other pupils, namely the top male student, two top special needs pupils and five top pupils from challenged schools.
“I want to say congratulations to all of our students in TT, those who made history by being the cohort of SEA students to face this exam in the year of the pandemic.” She also hailed their parents and teachers.
Newsday met two pupils hailed as exemplars in challenged schools. Adrianna Kerr said she felt glad to be recognised that day. She had no problems in the change to online learning, encouraged by her parents. Kerr urged other pupils not to be upset if they fail as there would always be another chance and would gain from their experience. Kerr had passed for Bishops Anstey School in Port of Spain.
Elisea King of Cumaca RC School near Valencia, passed for Bishops Anstey East School. She told Newsday, “I feel I have achieved a lot.” Asked about online learning, she said, “It was easy. I stayed in touch with the teach and got work.” Newsday asked about King’s biggest challenge.
Her mother Moritza Moreno replied, “Everything comes like ABC, 123 for her. She loves to challenge her. “Sometime I worry as in an exam if she gets two per cent below the grade she is supposed to get she will cry, beat up on herself. She just keeps on going, everything comes natural to her. I was really glad when she got her first choice.”
Moreno said King was a bit upset that school had closed for covid19 but had bounced back.
On exam day mother had prayed with daughter and in the exam King had finished 15 minutes before the end.