The Ministry of Education says the Secondary Entrance Exam (SEA) date will remain the same despite one student testing positive for COVID and the parent of another also testing positive.
Two schools were closed as a result of these findings.
The Ministry says they met with stakeholders today to discuss the way forward and agreed that having the exam is in the best interest of students.
Minister of Education Anthony Garcia says they will continue to monitor the situation and, if needed, adjustments will be made.

The following is a press release from the Ministry of Education:

As a part of the Ministry of Education’s monitoring of the impact of the new cases of COVID-19 in Trinidad and Tobago, the Ministry engaged stakeholders in a meeting today, 28th July 2020 to discuss the way forward. Ministry of Education officials and stakeholders in education have agreed to keep the date of the 2020 Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) as August 20th citing the socio and psychological effects on students.

The Honourable Anthony Garcia, Minister of Education said the decision to maintain the SEA date was agreed by all stakeholders, to be in the best interest of students. “We remain committed to providing an environment that is safe for learning and teaching, particularly during this time, while all schools continue to observe the protocols aligned to the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 guidelines. We will continue to monitor this ever changing situation and if needed, augment and adjust for the benefit of all within the school community.”

Discussions around moving the SEA date forward identified logistical challenges given the limited timeframe in which to request deferrals from the Ministry of National Security for the CXC testers, as well as the mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival in the country. These were but a few of the concerns listed.

Concerning the continuation of physical classes in the lead up to SEA, there were divergent views among stakeholders. While some expressed concerns for the health and safety of students, others advocated for school to remain open to mitigate any further psychological impact on students. The Ministry has agreed to assess the situation for the remainder of this week before announcing a decision early next week.

Represented at the virtual meeting were Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA), National Primary Schools Principals Association (NAPSPA), the National Parent Teacher Association (NPTA), Association of Denominational Boards, Private Primary Schools Principals Association (PPSPA), Association of Principals of Assisted Secondary Schools (APASS), Association of Principals of Public Secondary Schools (APPSS), the National Advisory Committee on Education and  the Private Special Schools Association (PSSATT).

The Ministry of Education will continue to keep the national population apprised on the way forward if any changes are made through the traditional media and the Ministry’s digital media channels.