2778640

SHARLENE RAMPERSAD

The National Primary Schools Principals’ Association (NAPSPA) says it completely supports the Government’s decision for the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) to be held in August.

This announcement comes on the heels of the rejection of the T&T Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) of the date selected for the examinations.

Speaking at a Joint Trade Union Movement press conference on Friday, president of TTUTA Antonia Tekah-De Freitas said the union and NAPSPA had both pleaded with the Ministry of Education to set the exam date sometime in October, as she said students would be ill-prepared and at a disadvantage.

But in a press release yesterday, NAPSPA distanced itself from Tekah-De Freitas’ comments.

“The National Primary Schools Principals’ Association (NAPSPA) wishes to categorically state that it has not rejected the announced August 20th date for the administration of the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA). Further, NAPSPA hereby gives its commitment to work towards the smooth administration of the SEA in the interest of our nation’s students,” the association’s president, Lance Mottley said.

Mottley said the NAPSPA had initially suggested a later date to the Ministry during consultations.

“Notwithstanding NAPSPA’s recommendation for the administration of the SEA, the Minister of Education announced that the SEA will be conducted on Thursday 20th August 2020. Immediately following that announcement, NAPSPA met and after careful deliberations, agreed that it will not stand in the way of Government’s decision,” Mottley said.

He said the association reiterates its calls for tabled meetings with Education Minister Anthony Garcia to discuss the support mechanisms required to facilitate the examination and the eventual reopening of schools.

Last week, Garcia announced the examination date and said that Standard Five teachers would receive a daily stipend for working during their vacation period, ranging from $400 to as much $900 for principals.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, in Parliament on Friday, said the Government was willing to spend the estimated $20million required to facilitate the examination in August to get children into schools.

Rowley said parents and students also called for the exam to be held early.