I extend my best wishes to the more than 18,000 students who are preparing to sit the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) on Thursday 4th May, 2017, as well as to the parents and guardians who have supported them through this period.
To the students, many of you may be experiencing anxiety at this time, and I urge you to take a moment to reflect, breathe, and pray. You have put in a lot of hard work over the past year, and you should feel confident that you are capable and prepared to take on this task, which is just one step in your educational journey.
As a mother and grandmother, I would give you the same guidance I would give my own children or grandchildren: Stay calm, remain focused, pace yourself, and you will get through the examination.
The rigour of exam preparation you experienced over the last few months has undoubtedly prepared you for the next phase of your education, and I am sure you are excited to begin new areas of study. As you move forward from this phase, I encourage you to continue to seek knowledge, and to take advantage of every opportunity with which you are presented. Have the confidence to look beyond the norm, to forge your own path.
Each one of you has the potential to excel, and to be extraordinary, and you should not let anyone make you think otherwise.
As you walk into the examination room on Thursday morning, stay focused on your goals, and the task at hand. Remember that the SEA is a test for placement into a secondary school, but it does not define you – you are in charge of your future. I wish you all the best, and good luck!
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP