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2,595 SEA pupils score under 30%

Published: 
Wednesday, July 4, 2018

While thousands of students celebrate their Secondary Entrance Assessment results today, more than 2,500 will face disappointment having scored below 30 per cent in the exams.

Statistics obtained by the T&T Guardian show that overall, students scored lower this year in Mathematics than they did since 2010. Some 58.8 per cent of students scored over 50 per cent for 2018. For this decade, the highest Mathematics scores were recorded in 2011 (73.1 per cent) and 2012 (72. 4 per cent). In Grammar, 57.7 per cent of the pupils scored over 50 per cent this year, compared to 76.4 last year and 72.8 in 2015.

In an interview yesterday, T&T Unified Teachers Association president Lynsley Doodhai said the statistics were worrying, especially since 2,170 pupils scored less than 30 per cent last year compared to 2,595 pupils scoring less than 30 per cent this year.

“This represents 13.6 per cent of the 19,185 pupils who sat the exams this year and it is something that we must address,” Doodhai said.

He said while the Minister of Education Anthony Garcia and Minister in the Ministry Dr Lovell Francis visit the top students today, some focus must be placed on the ones who are likely to fall through the cracks because of poor performance. Defending the nation’s teachers, he said while some may be quick to blame teachers for poor performance, citizens should remember many of the students who underperform do so because of learning disabilities, poor parental support or behavioural challenges.

“Naturally, when you hear figures like this people immediately say that it is the fault of teachers. Maybe to a small extent, some teachers may have contributed to this by not fulfilling their functions as a teacher, but this is minuscule when you look at the real issues. In classes where you have students excelling and some students failing, they are taught by the same teachers so you cannot say it is the teachers’ fault,” he said.

“Don’t blame the teachers because some of these students have behavioural issues, learning disabilities and some don’t enjoy the level of parental support and involvement that they deserve.”

He called on Government to expend additional resources to the Student Support Services, saying there are not enough professionals in the unit to deal with increasing challenges at schools

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