TTUTA: SEA results promising but there’s still cause for concern; intervention needed for those below 30%

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TTUTA: SEA results promising but there’s still cause for concern; intervention needed for those below 30%

Although the Education Ministry has touted an improvement in the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) results this year, Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) presi­dent Martin Lum Kin said there needs to be further intervention in place for children scoring below 30 per cent.

Lum Kin, speaking on TV6’s Morning Edition programme yesterday, said while the results were promising, there was still cause for concern.

“So we looked at the breakdown from the ministry, which looks at the over 90 per cent between 50 and 89, and then below 30… there is that band between 30 and 49 per cent which we worked out to be 6.33 per cent,” he said.

“It’s nice to look at statistics, and it’s nice to see that there was improvement, but we have to take the time to look at those who need the assistance most, and we are looking forward to the Ministry of Education in terms of intervention because that statistic below 30 per cent has decreased, but it still points to the fact that the students need extra intervention. Our teachers are doing the best that they can, but they need support, and so we hope that using the SEA exam results can also lead to interventions,” he added.

Lum Kin, during the interview, also called for a review of the SEA exam.

“The SEA is a placement examination, and students are placed based upon their performance, and tied into this is the fact that in the Constitution it provides for parents to have the right to choose which schools they want their child to attend.

“Our position in TTUTA is that this high-stakes examination, especially for students at this age, needs to be reviewed very carefully,” he said. A formative assessment, in which a child is assessed from First Year to Standard Five to determine the child’s secondary school placement could be another option instead of a summative assessment, which is the SEA, he said.

“There was the task force a couple years ago, which TTUTA was part of, and we look forward to the release of the findings of this task force and recommendations ­going forward.

“It is quite curious that it is taking so long for it to be released and put either in the Parliament or the public domain, but we have had these conversations where we are sifting out the best performers from those who are not ‘performing academically’,” Lum Kin said.