Minister of Education Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly has announced that for the 2022 SEA examination, the top-placed students will not be publicised.
In a press conference on Friday, Gadsby-Dolly said the practice started in an effort to inspire other students to achieve the same success, but over time has had negative results.
“In particular, this public practice has resulted in students who have performed admirably, even to secure a second place in their first-choice secondary school, to have their performances overshadowed by an unhealthy competitiveness, often driven by parents, over relative examination scores, which are preliminary.”
She said the ministry was "extremely concerned that this practice now has the potential to have our young scholars now put under undue pressure to secure a high ranking in the SEA examination and diminish their self-worth.”
She felt the practice, which had a laudable aim, had been “disfigured by changing societal attitudes.”
The ranking list will only be finalised after the review period has lapsed. It will also be available through written request.
“Consideration will be given by the Ministry of Education to the provision of the final rank of the examinations individually and privately.”
In October 2020, the ministry named Ameera Beekhoo top SEA student and in an award ceremony at the ministry she was given a laptop, a cellphone and a bmobile internet contract.
But on March 31, the principal of Bekhoo’s former school, San Fernando TML, got a letter saying Bekhoo will get the Presidents Medal (Silver) for placing second. The principal of a private primary school in Port of Spain was invited along with one of her students and three other guests, to receive the top award instead.
Both letters have since been rescinded and after the parents of the students threatened legal action, Bekhoo and Aaron Subero, were jointly awarded the gold medal.