Education Minister D Nyan Gadsby-Dolly has maintained that she has the best interest of students and teachers at heart and that government’s number one priority at this time is keeping our citizens safe.
Speaking to izzso via whatsapp today, in light of TTUTA’s call for teachers not to risk their lives by going to school, especially those set to supervise the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA), Gadsby-Dolly said “the government has put measures in place to reduce the COVID numbers; the success of these over the next few days will impact greatly on the way forward for students and examinations.
She added “While the examinations are important; and all possible preparations are being made for their safe implementation; they are not more important than the health of the population; and the latter will not be sacrificed for the sake of the former.
Gadsby-Dolly assured “We all have the best interest of the students, teachers, parents and every citizen at heart. The names of all school personnel have been supplied to the MOH (Ministry of Health) as requested for priority consideration with respect to the vaccination program.”
She said “The Prime Minister has clearly stated that the effort to rein in the numbers are so that the exams can proceed with a measure of safety- should this not be possible, then we will adjust accordingly.
On the issue of her Ministry offering parents the option to defer the SEA to next year, and what this would mean for other students having to repeat classes, the Minister noted “Students repeating classes is not new- that was always a measure available at schools to be used judiciously as necessary.
“In any given school year, there are always repeaters at some level in schools throughout the country. With Home-Based learning being instituted, it is anticipated that some students may not have transitioned as well as others; and where necessary, if possible, teachers are asked to consider the option of recommending the repeat of a class level. It will not be possible for all; but for some it may be critical. Deferral of SEA was suggested by stakeholders as a way to assist some children in dire circumstances, and it requires agreement from both parents and principal. Again- the same principle of space and logistics apply.”