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Hazel apologises to parents and students

Education Minister Hazel Manning yesterday apologised to parents and students of Arima Senior Comprehensive, but not the nine suspended teachers of the school.

At a media briefing yesterday, Manning apologised to "children, parents and teachers who are working hard and the country as a whole".

The TT Unified Teachers' Association has demanded an apology from the Minister for the suspension of the nine teachers. Commenting on the situation for the first time directly, Manning said she did not comment before due to her hectic schedule.

She was sorry the Ministry "has not been able to deliver" on its mission of creating a "holistic individual who is able to contribute meaningfully to the development of the country".

She apologised for allowing the situation at the school to deteriorate "to the present impasse".

Manning said was not allowing the Prime Minister to "do her work", and his comments came after he was asked about the situation after Cabinet's weekly meeting on Thursday.

"He is not defending me, he is not picking up for me", she said. The Ministry of Education said it may have to resort to hiring teachers on contract because of problems getting replacements for the nine Arima Senior Comprehensive teachers briefing who were suspended last week. Speaking at a media hosted by Manning, Ag Permanent Secretary Angella Jack said the Ministry was trying its best but was having difficulties finding teachers "especially in the area of Math".

She announced that someone has been sent to the school for Typing and Office Procedures.

Jack said if no replacements are found contracting teachers will be examined next week. She estimated that the process may take two weeks, and the Ministry was working quickly because students are scheduled to take the CXC, and A' Level Examinations.

The Education Minister said provisions will be made for students who failed their exams due to a loss of class time.

Manning said about 818 students have missed almost a whole term of work and some have not done their School Based Assessments for CXC. "We are waiting until results come out and hopefully put a system in place to support them, so maybe another exam next year", Manning said. Manning will meet on Monday with President of the TT Unified Teachers' Association Trevor Oliver at the Education Ministry.

Trinidad and Tobago News

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