Dr Gopeesingh urged to stop spreading lies about education
Former Education Minister, Dr. Tim Gopeesingh continues to spread lies about the gains being made in the Education Sector in order to remain relevant and politically alive. His latest statement accused the Honourable Anthony Garcia, Minister of Education of abandoning the Continuous Assessment Component (CAC) of the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) Exam.
A factor he claims affected the performance of students in the 2018 Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) Examination. On the contrary, analysis shows that students performed better this year especially in Mathematics and Creative Writing.
Minister Garcia wishes to remind the population that CAC was abandoned following three public consultations in Trinidad and Tobago and a two week online campaign where members of the public and education stakeholders unanimously agreed that the CAC did not indicate any major improvement in the academic performance of students. These stakeholders included the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) and the National Parent Teachers Association (NPTA),
An analysis of students’ performance under Dr. Gopeesingh’s stewardship showed the number of students who scored under 30 percent remained at an average 2,500. Yet no direct interventions were initiated to address the specific needs of these students. Actually. the CAC formula was structured in such a way to award marks to students to ensure they did not fall below the 30 percent bracket. Thus realistically, it did not specifically help students who are weak in the areas of Mathematics, English Language Arts and Creative Writing. The analysis also highlighted several flaws in the administering and marking of the CAC Examination under Dr. Gopeesingh’s leadership.
On the contrary, over the last 2 years, the Ministry of Education has ensured that the necessary Curriculum support is being provided to meet the specific needs of these students from as early as Infant Year One. Other successful initiatives are the Form One Initiative, Penmanship with a Purpose and Clinical Supervision.
Additionally, Curriculum Officers, School Supervisors, Guidance Councilors and School Social Workers are mandated to visit all schools on a more regular basis to interact with teachers and students and provide the necessary support and feedback in order to ensure that quality teaching takes place in the classroom, among other strategies.
Minister Garcia also dismissed Dr Gopeesingh’s claim that he established 400 After School Home Work Centres. There is no record at the Ministry to validate this claim. He also makes it abundantly clear that the Ministry of Education never dismissed any staff from the Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Student Support Services Divisions. Actually, the Ministry of Education earlier this year renewed the contracts of over 100 ICT Technicians while over 250 Guidance Counselors and Schools Social Workers are currently signing news contracts, while interviews continue to employ more professionals to staff this Division to better serve students.
Minister Anthony Garcia wishes to assure the general public and all other education stakeholders that the Ministry of Education looks forward for their continued support as it continues to work towards improving the quality of education and to provide greater access to educational opportunities for the more that 250 thousand primary and secondary school students of Trinidad and Tobago.