On Thursday May 9, 2013, a total of 18,039 students are scheduled to sit the annual Secondary Entrance Assessment and as Minister of Education, I wish to express my heartfelt support for each and every one of these students, as well as their parents and their teachers, on this very important day of their academic lives.
I wish to also assure all students, parents, teachers, principals and school supervisors throughout Trinidad and Tobago that all systems are in place for the successful administration of these exams.
Security arrangements have been put in place for the storage, distribution and return of the question papers, after which, they will be handed over to CXC for marking and processing.
Amalgamated Security Services Limited has been contracted to transport these exam papers to the 24 drop-off points throughout Trinidad and Tobago and then collect the answer scripts from all Educational Districts.
School supervisors are well prepared to facilitate the distribution and collection of these exam papers, while all persons involved in the administration of the SEA have been duly trained by the Division of Educational Research and Evaluation.
I am also happy to note that in addition to the Ministry of Education’s careful planning for the SEA, the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) has also introduced, as of this year, a SEA hotline for the day of the examination.
T&TEC has advised that the hotline will be effective from 3pm on Wednesday May 8, 2013 until 3pm on Thursday May 9, 2013, and has been created to specifically ensure that things run smoothly during the exam.
Principals and Supervisors can call or text 794-4823 or 794-7264 to report any disruption in electricity or any electrical safety concerns.
Just like last year, CXC will be responsible for marking these exams and the results are due in the first week of July, 2013.
As Minister of Education, I know the significance of this day to all involved, which is why we have taken special care to ensure that all processes go smoothly.
I know that these brave, bright, beautiful young children of our nation have dedicated the past year to studying for this exam, demonstrating a level of sacrifice, commitment, diligence and discipline to their studies far beyond their years to ensure that they excel. For this alone, they are successes and role models and I congratulate them on their achievements.
I also thank their teachers and parents for being at their sides throughout this very demanding and even stressful period. I know that when the children write the exams on Thursday, they will do their absolute best. That is all we can and should expect from them.
In our ongoing commitment to equality and the best education for all students, the Government will continue that great policy introduced by our Honourable Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, S.C., of giving all Form One students entering secondary schools free laptops this year.
The SEA candidates would have also received by this week free pencil and eraser sets from the Ministry of Education, a token from us to demonstrate our commitment and caring to them.
I urge all parents to remember that in whichever secondary school your child is placed, he or she will continue to excel once you give him/her the continued support and love needed in their crucial teenage years.
As we prepare for Thursday’s exams, I urge all parents and teachers to make a special effort to instill in your children confidence in their abilities, so that they will be relaxed and at ease when they write the exams.
Take the time to pray as well, as God is the One we must ultimately put our faith and trust in and know that with His blessings, all good things are possible.
Again, let me wish all students best of luck a for Thursday’s exams and beyond, and May God continue to bless us all.