The TT Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA) has said given the current covid19 crisis, the health, safety, and preservation of life for students and teachers must be given priority.
In a statement, TTUTA called on the Ministry of Education to postpone all activities regarding the administration of the Caribbean Secondary Entrance Certificate (CSEC), Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE), and Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ).
It said the general council of TTUTA met in an emergency meeting on Monday, when a number of education professionals expressed concerns about the regional exams.
“TTUTA is not insensitive to the fact that there is currently a high level of uncertainty surrounding these examinations, not only in our country, but across the region…the exigencies of the state of emergency have also impacted on the conduct of these activities.
"However, TTUTA does not believe that anyone’s life should be put in jeopardy for an examination.”
It said the covid19 pandemic has demonstrated inequities in the education system. “
The opportunities for proper sanitation of the school facilities, and for adequate social distancing of students and educators, are not possible at this time under the current public health regulations.”
TTUTA called on the ministry to ensure all secondary schools are properly sanitised before exams begin.
TTUTA also said education professionals who wish to be vaccinated should be given the opportunity to receive the vaccination before exams.
“While vaccination for covid19 is not mandatory, TTUTA posits that vaccination of educators who would like to be vaccinated should be a priority, within the broader plan to repopulate schools and resume face to face classes.”
The statement said on Monday, the ministry suggested the exams should be postponed by a maximum of three weeks, but TTUTA was adamant that the date for the start of exams should be based on the findings and advice of the Ministry of Health.
The Caribbean Examination Council announced on Wednesday that regional exams will begin on June 28. The decision was the result of a meeting held by the council on Tuesday with input from regional education stakeholders in light of the current rise in covid19 numbers across the region.
The Ministry of Education said on Friday CSEC Spanish and French orals have been pushed to June 14.