TTUTA still has safety concerns ahead of July 1st SEA exam

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TTUTA still has safety concerns ahead of July 1st SEA exam

President of the T&T Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA), Antonia Tekah-De Freitas is concerned about the safety of her members, who will be supervising the July 1st sitting of the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA).

During a virtual media briefing on Tuesday afternoon, Minister of Education, Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly assured that final preparations were being done for exam on July 1, even though concerns continue to be raised regarding the health and safety of the educators involved in the process.

De Freitas said “The reality is that a number of our members who have volunteered for SEA supervision have only received their first dose of vaccines so far. Even if they receive the next dose next week, the research says that is not adequate.”

However, the Ministry’s Education House Officer, Dr Amanda Solomon, said it has done its best to make sure all the preventative measures are in place.

Pre-entry protocols have been put in place at all schools to ensure strict safety regulations are adhered to.

Dr Solomon, said one doctor and two nurses have been assigned to each education district and in-person visits were done at all schools to assess their readiness.

A quarantine area has also been designated in each school and a student manifest drawn up to facilitate easy contact tracing if necessary.

Students are required to wear face masks during the exam and will be seated six feet apart, she said.

Also speaking at the briefing was Director, School Supervision, Naima Hosein, who said they had procured a supervisory staff of approximately 3,919 individuals who will be stationed at schools.

She explained that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, “many teachers felt more comfortable to supervise at their respective schools and they are being allowed to do so in the capacity as testers.”

The ministry revealed yesterday “Of the 4,000 vaccines assigned to them, 3,635 teachers and school administrators (principals and vice-principals) have been vaccinated.

An additional 500 teachers and/or administrators who are willing to volunteer to supervise the SEA 2021 will be vaccinated on June 26th.

A total of 19,656 students have been registered to write the SEA exam, which will see a reduction in the content and curriculum coverage as well as in the number of items that have been placed on that paper.

The exam will be three hours and 20 minutes long.