SEA Results Must be Published

By Stephen Kangal
July 03, 2022

Stephen KangalPrimary students write an annual competitive SEA Examination that determines, inter alia, where the students are to receive their best secondary schooling of choice to foster their academic development and their career paths.

These results have been published since its inception.

First the PNM interfered with the CAPE scholarships criteria by cutting down the number and even tinkering with the allocation based on subjectivity.

Bursaries allowed them to hand pick those who they wanted to get Government funding just like the recipients of the $2bn COVID grants.

They targeted the high performing denominational schools that saw unusual dramatic reductions in scholarships. Now they are refusing to publish the results of the SEA that will have positively rewarded the top performers and their schools because the traditional top performers and their schools are not politically correct in their eyes. In T&T there is no line between politics and race.

This is a decision taken by a Cabinet without exploring the pros and cons of continuing the tried and tested system of publishing and rewarding our top SEA performers that produced a range of incentives for students/schools/parents and neighborhoods to succeed and strive for excellence that redounds to our national development. They are moving the goal posts to suit their players.

The success of some of our best emerging human capital by dint of strong parental support, culture, hard work, excellent tuition at the denominational schools and career path development goals should not deter the failures from trying again.

The “failures” in the state-run system are determining and configuring the way backwards and penalising merit and hard work demoralising our best human capital on the altar of ethnic politics.

The current PNM administration with support from the urban validating elites is politicising every aspect of the contemporary education system from nursery to tertiary.

We must reject this politically motivated encroachment and the false and misleading propaganda being foisted on us to rationalise this invasion without public consultations and allowing objective good sense and sensibility to prevail and merit to be rewarded y positive reinforcement.

Were the bursaries awarded published just like the $55m secret scholarship fund in the Ministry of Community Development?

A public exam’s results must be publicly disseminated for the tax-payers to see how their tax dollars are being spent and the results that schools produce. The SEA was not a private examination.

Parents of our top early performers deserve to be recognised publicly so that other parents may be motivated to do the same. The SEA was a barometer not only to judge students but also parental support, school level of tuition, teachers, PTA’s, Past Pupils Associations and the communities that support the schools with their donations and cultural upbringing.

Just now they will stop all public disclosures of educational assessments just to pander to the school violent brigade. This issue is too far-reaching and embracing for the small minds in the PNM to appreciate far less to legislate upon. Too many people are sleeping and allowing the PNM to commit crimes against the education of our children in their cloistered minds and lack of visionary thinking.

4 thoughts on “SEA Results Must be Published”

  1. We live in the information era, people are hungry for information. The list of names should be published on the education website. And as it was done before.

    The government must act in a transparent manner. To act otherwise is to create an atmosphere of distrust. According to the UN “Education enables upward socioeconomic mobility and is a key to escaping poverty. Over the past decade, major progress was made towards increasing access to education and school enrollment rates at all levels, particularly for girls. Nevertheless, about 260 million children were still out of school in 2018 — nearly one fifth of the global population in that age group. And more than half of all children and adolescents worldwide are not meeting minimum proficiency standards in reading and mathematics.”

    Frightening statistics “And more than half of all children and adolescents worldwide are not meeting minimum proficiency standards in reading and mathematics.” 12,000 students in Trinbago got less than 50% in the SEA exams. To succeed a more proactive approach and funding is necessary to take students to a better place.

    Publish the names as per tradition and information era.

  2. Outdated practice, outdated exam

    Newsday Editorial

    THE MINISTRY of Education’s decision to depart from its usual practice of publishing – on the basis of merely preliminary results – the top-placed students in the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) examination is welcome, and should be the norm going forward.

    At a media conference on Friday, Minister of Education Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly announced the list of top students will only be finalised after the traditional review period has elapsed. Further, that list will only be available on written request.

    In April, the minister strongly signalled the writing was on the wall for the old modus operandi of ranking and naming top performers.

    Not only did this practice result in an embarrassing and undignified spectacle of President’s Medal winners having their top billing withdrawn and their rankings rescinded earlier this year, but it has long outlived its usefulness as a motivating factor for students.

    Full Article : newsday.co.tt

  3. A single evaluation instrument like the standardized SEA test should never be used to make decisions on the placement of 11 year olds in secondary schools.
    Ranking students based on the results of a single test and placing students in secondary schools based on the chronological order sets up a “streaming” which gives us what we have today- elite schools and ghetto schools.
    The SEA is a good instrument being misused. The performances and achievenent of students should be subjected to a detailed analysis. The test items items should also be scrutinized for validity and reliability with the goals of student and test improvement.
    The result of this analysis should be used for student skills and knowledge remediation and improvement rather than public consumption, publication and pre-mature medal presentations.
    The Ministry of Education made the right call on this occasion.
    The results belong to the Ministry, the schools and the students, not the public. Each school should do a detailed analysis for remediation purposes and for passing on learning profiles to the secondary schools to create programs to fill in the learning gaps of each student.
    This would obviously be a challenge in a country which perpetuates elite schools, out-dated instructional methodologies, ranking results and only values pure academics as “education”.
    Finally, when the implications of the ethnic, political and parental mix is added, it seems hopeless, like so many other “things” in this country.

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