Doctors are awaiting test results on a baby born with microcephaly to determine whether the child suffered the birth defect as a result of the mother contracting the Zika virus.
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SEA pupil found hanging
The suspected suicide of 13-year-old Davindra Boodoo, a pupil of El Socorro Hindu School, did not affect pupils attending the El Socorro Hindu School. Davindra, who was expected to write yesterday's Secondary Entrance Assessment exam, was found hanging Wednesday afternoon at his home. After the news of the death spread early yesterday, guidance counsellors went to the school to provide support to pupils who might have been affected by his death.
Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh later referred to the incident during the post-Cabinet news conference yesterday at the Office of the Prime Minister. He said while the Government and country were traumatised, his ministry was committed to finding a new system aimed at reducing the pressure faced by students about to write exams. Adding that incident would motivate the authorities to act faster, he said parents also had a part to play by finding ways to reduce the tension placed on the shoulders of their children. Staff at the Ministry of Education said the administration of the exam across the country was excellent and without any problems. While officials reported no irregularities in yesterdays SEA, in the counties of Caroni and Victoria, where some larger-print exam papers had been requested, the T&T Guardian understands those papers were late in arriving so the two pupils who needed them had to be given additional time.
However, officials assured that by 2 pm, all exam papers had been collected by the security company contracted by the ministry.
When the exam ended around 12.30 pm, pupils of the Fatima RC School, Curepe, rushed out of the exam room with big smiles. Running into his mother’s arms, Juan Luis Guilarta, 12, said it was “real easy.” Relieved it was over, his mother, Ruth Albornoz, praised the hard work and dedication of the teachers to ensure the children were prepared. Over at the Holy Saviour Anglican School, Curepe, 11-year-old Jayda Hunte said the exam was good and she was expecting to do well. Her classmate, Chelsea Lakhan, 12, expressed a somewhat different opinion as she said: “The grammar was easy but the maths was a little tricky.” Approximately 18,039 students were set to write the exam yesterday with results to be released after June 20.
About Davindra’s death
According to police reports, Davindra, of Sadhoo Trace, Aranguez, was found hanging at the back of his home around 4.30 pm. His body was found by his younger sister, Nirmala Boodoo, 11, who was supposed to have sat the exam yesterday as well but was too traumatised to do so. The younger Boodoo alerted her grandfather who knocked down the door to the room in which Boodoo was. The family had began searching for Boodoo after he went missing for a while. Barataria police is conducting investigation. At the Forensic Science Centre, St James, and at the family’s home relatives were too distraught to speak with members of the media yesterday.