SPECIAL GIFTS: Five pupils who tied for third place in the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) examination pose with special gifts they received in collaboration with Bmobile at the Offices of the Ministry of Education, Port of Spain, yesterday. Each top pupil will receive free broadband-at-home service, in addition to a tablet device and data sims. —Photos: JERMAINE CRUICKSHANK

The released Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) results, in another period of extreme challenges of which we are all aware, prove once again that our pupils “con- quered the deep blue SEA”.

Following last year’s challenges, we saw increased adaptation to an entire school year via virtual teaching.

The need for teachers to rise to a new normal was also evident. The situation revealed the resolve of our educators, supported by parents, in pursuit of academic excellence. The need for this is also in support of the priorities of the country and the provisions of the Education Act which set out the physical safety of pupils, followed by the delivery of the curriculum as most important.

In all of this, we should admire and appreciate our children and their resolve. If we didn’t know it before, we know now that they can and will face obstacles, rising to the challenges and equally beneficial to all, that we develop them and our country by such opportunity to duly develop.

The tendency to limit our children’s capacity, fuelled and nurtured by mediocrity, is a grave injustice to them. It is well established that our pupils appreciate teachers who challenge them to the realisation of their full potential. Our children revel in “mediocrity”.

This must be a measure of the curriculum delivery of the school as envisaged by the Education Act. In so doing, our schools would become more accountable and better assessed. School improvement will be better planned for the long and medium term.

The SEA results of each school should be examined by the relevant school supervisory staff as a basis for school improvement plans with collaboration among stakeholders. There are reports that the SEA data is not even shared with teachers in some schools. The parent/school organisation should be apprised of the performance of the school and become more involved as needed.This will make for more meaningful meetings.

Comparative performance over a period of time, with the school district and national levels, forms a basis of such assessment.

As we forge ahead in the future with whatever challenges and situations we may encounter, let us keep focus on our education system, as the pivotal activity of our national development and objective.

To our teachers we must say a heartfelt thank you for rising to the challenges so well and we know you are looking forward to return to normalcy, as indeed our pupils are too.

Lennox Sirjuesingh

retired principal



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