Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. (Image: Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago)

The hosting of the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) in October would mean that the first term of academic year 2020/2021 would be lost.

This is according to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, as he responded to questions in the Parliament during Prime Minister’s Question Time, this afternoon.

The Prime Minister’s explanation indicates an attempt to balance the existing structure of the academic terms with the current circumstances.

“If the exam is held in October, it would mean the two-month period going forward would ensure that no placement of students could take place in what should be the first term,” Dr Rowley said.

He added: “Those persons—mainly parents and those advocating on the students’ behalf—are saying that if we hold the exams in August… then it is possible to get the exams done with minimal loss of time and disruption, get the students placed and save a substantial portion of the first term.”

“To not do that [host the exam in August] is to lose the first term, when there’s an option to save it,” he said.

The PM noted that if the exam is held in August, the majority of students would not be affected and would “return to school with some semblance of normalcy”.

Minister of Education Anthony Garcia had stated previously that the new school term begins on September 1st.