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These Tranquility Government Primary school SEA pupils interact as they walk along St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain, from their way to school.

The Ministry of Education has assured that all primary schools across T&T, which are facilitating preparation classes for the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) on August 20, are strictly adhering to health and safety protocols as outlined by the Ministry of Health.

In a release on Wednesday, officials said schools had implemented thermal scanning, hand washing, the wearing of masks and social distancing. The MOE said, “In any school where there is deemed the possibility of risk to the health and safety of students, all necessary steps will be taken.”

Following the resumption of classes on July 20, teachers and parents have already reported a change in the attitudes, performance and mindset of students upon return to the physical classroom.

They claimed the psychological benefits of students being able to prepare for the SEA in a simulated physical space has had a positive effect on the students.

The ministry urged citizens to fact check and be extremely cautious when sharing information surrounding the positive cases of COVID-19.

They explained that while stakeholders attempt to take all precautions to safe guard children, misinformation is being shared about children being positive for COVID-19 in schools.

Officials said information being printed in daily newspapers can cause mass panic and concern if citizens are not accurately informed.

The ministry’s statement added: “As the country manoeuvres the new cases of COVID-19, the Ministry of Education remains resolute in providing students with the psychological and emotional relief of completing the examination that was previously carded for April 2. The ministry’s objective at this time is to allow students to make the next step in their academic journey with the completion of the SEA and achieving this through the adherence to best practice in health and safety protocol.”