Smooth sailing at SEA make-up exam in Avocat

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Aaron Ramnarine of Clarke Rochard Government Primary School and Melia Gangaram of Penal Quinam Government Primary School give the thumbs up after writing the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) make-up exam at the Avocat Vedic School on Wednesday. – Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

The July/August vacation began on Wednesday afternoon for students who sat the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) make-up examination.

Students from the St Patrick educational district wrote the exam at the Avocat Vedic (APS) School at St John Trace junction, Siparia Old Road, Avocat Village in Fyzabad. Many students said they were happy it was over.

Melia Gangaram, 11, of Penal/Quinam government primary School in Mendez Village, smiled as she walked out and hugged her mother Melina Mendoza-Rodney.

“My first choice is Holy Faith Convent in Penal. Overall, the exam was easy. I had a little difficulty with a passage, but I figured it out,” Gangaram said.

Gangaram was among the 200-plus students nationwide who missed the initial SEA sitting on July 1, a day before the school term ended.

An estimated 146 students were registered to sit the make-up exam on Wednesday.

Newsday learnt that some students also applied to the ministry for a deferred SEA examination owing to the pandemic.

Like many students, she was absent owing to covid19-related issues. Her mother had the coronavirus, and the family had been in home quarantine on July 1.

“I wanted to write the exams then. I got extra time which I used to study more. I feel good that it is over. From here, we (she and her mother) might go and buy KFC. I might go home, watch a movie and stay up all night,” Gangaram said.

Melia Gangaram of Penal Quinam Government Primary School is greeted with a hug from her mother Melina Mendoza-Rodney after writing the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) make-up exam at the Avocat Vedic School on Wednesday. – Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

“I do not know any of the students here, so I would have preferred to write it at my school where I know them.”

Twelve of 13 people who were registered in the district sat the exam. School officials, students and parents were seen following the covid19 guidelines.

Aaron Ramnarine, 11, of Clarke Rochard Government in Penal, said his family too was in home quarantine.

He hopes to pass for Shiva Boys’ Hindu College or Barrackpore East Secondary School. He said the exam was easy. He was unsure about his vacation plans.

Ramnarine was with his mother Kaloutie Rampersad.

Shevon Cadett, 12, of La Brea RC, was the first student to walk out of the compound around 1 pm.

A relative told Newsday that the family was in home quarantine which ended on Sunday. Cadett did not want to speak.

Fyzabad resident Ajay Oreesingh said his son Ajay, 14, missed the first exam owing to a lack of “proper communication” with a school official from Pepper Village Government as well as domestic issues.

On the advice of another school official, he took his son to sit the exam.

“Ajay was not getting access to schoolwork. He did not have any devices and was not prepared. But after talking to the person who is now running the show (a school official), I let him do it today,” Oreesingh said.

He said he is a single father of five.

Students from the Victoria educational district sat the examination at the TML Primary School, San Fernando at Farah Street.

Maurice Jones of Bien Venu Presbyterian School expresses relief after writing the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) exam at the TML Primary School in San Fernando on Wednesday. – Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

Newsday caught up with Maurice Jones, 13, of Bien Venue Presbyterian in La Romaine.

His mother, Santana Thomas, said he was not ready for it on July 1.

Jones told Newsday he felt better prepared on Wednesday. He said he missed interacting with his friends at school.

“I missed that a lot. I just do not like the online classes,” Jones said as he was leaving the school.

He was unsure which secondary school he hopes to attend when the new school term begins.

Newsday learnt that students also sat the examination at Rio Claro Hindu School in the southeastern education district.

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