Rhianna Mc Kenzie
Minister of Education Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly said on Monday that education stakeholders have suggested three weeks of face-to-face classes would benefit students sitting the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) exams.
Responding to Newsday via WhatsApp on Monday, Gadsby-Dolly said the ministry is aware of the mixed views surrounding postponing the SEA.
“The intention is not to prolong the agony for students, parents, and teachers, but to ensure that all our students, including the most vulnerable, get the best chance at success.”
She said during a meeting last week stakeholders said they felt the best scenario involves students having at least three weeks of face-to-face preparation before the exam.
But, she said, “With current restrictions ongoing until May 16, the earliest possible time for physical SEA classes to begin in some form would be May 17 and this, of course, is not certain unless the situation is deemed safe enough.”
Moving the exam to a possible date of July 1, the minister said, will allow more time for the covid19 numbers to stabilise and may give students the best chance of face-to-face preparation time.
“In addition, CXC administers SEA and if the date is to change alternat(iv)e arrangements will have to be made with them soon as the current schedule is based on a June 10 date. We will advise them this week of the possibility.”
She said any consideration of postponement will be based on students possibly getting face-to-face time, as advised by stakeholders.
“The ministry will confer with the Ministry of Health on the matter later this week, giving the restrictions some time to take effect, and make a recommendation to the Cabinet thereafter bearing in mind all viewpoints.”