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Cops probing leak of SEA results

19,900 pupils to know how they did today
Thursday, July 5, 2012
Dr Tim Gopeesingh

Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh says the police have been called in to investigate a possible leak  yesterday of the results of the 2012 Secondary Entrance Examination (SEA). Gopeesingh, in a comment on the matter, told the T&T Guardian if any employee of the ministry was found guilty of the offence, he or she would be fired.


Almost 19,900 pupils, who wrote the exam in May, are expected to receive their results this morning. Primary school principals are scheduled to collect the results at their respective Educational District Offices from 8 am and present them two hours later to expectant pupils at their schools. Parents also can access the results, via text messages, this morning if they have registered to do so with the ministry.


The ministry’s website at also states the results will be published on line at 9 am. Gopeesingh said if anyone was found guilty of a criminal offence in the premature release of the results yesterday, he or she would “be made to feel the full brunt of the law.” He said it was unclear if the results, which were posted via e-mail by unknown persons, were authentic.  


Gopeesingh said they were handed to the Information Technology Department of the Ministry at 1 am yesterday for subsequent transmission to the webmaster for posting this morning. However, according to some reports, the results were instead made available on the ministry’s website at midnight on Tuesday. The list was then said to have been downloaded and passed around by e-mail.


Gopeesingh said because some people were supposed to be given the results via text messages, the information had to be given to the ministry’s IT department at that time yesterday. He said that was the second such incident this year and  there had been a potential breach in the Caribbean Secondary Examination Council (CSEC) exam “but we nipped it in the bud.”


He said that latest incident was the work of someone or some people who were committed to creating “chaos and confusion.” At the time of the T&T Guardian interview, Gopeesingh said his permanent secretary was trying to contact Police Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs to initiate a full-fledged investigation into the alleged leak.


He said he could not say if the information on the internet was authentic or not and the ministry would have to embark on a comprehensive review of security arrangements to ensure those alleged breaches were prevented,
Earlier, a release, issued by the Corporate Communications Department of the ministry, stated a preliminary internal probe had determined the alleged leak was the work of people who were engaging in a “determined sinister plot to destabilise the positive work emanating from the ministry.”


The release also said the information released yesterday was false and inaccurate and the ministry was “well aware of these insidious acts being committed over the past few weeks with the same nefarious intent and purpose.”  The ministry advised the public to ignore any e-mails or other information from unofficial sources as it might be false or inaccurate.


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