By Stephen Kangal
July 03, 2022
Primary 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.