OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF THE UNITED NATIONAL CONGRESS, The Official Opposition In The Republic Of Trinidad And Tobago.

For The 2024 Secondary Entrance Assessment

On Thursday March 21, 2024, thousands of primary school students across Trinidad and Tobago are scheduled to sit the annual Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) Exams.

I express my heartfelt support for each and every single one of these boys and girls on this very important day of their academic life. As a former Minister of Education who pioneered universal secondary education in T&T 2000, which led to the introduction of the SEA, I know the significance of this day to all involved.

I know that these brave, bright, beautiful young children of our nation have dedicated the past year to studying for this exam, demonstrating a level of sacrifice, commitment, diligence, and discipline far beyond their years.

It is my fervent wish, therefore, that the Ministry of Education and all other relevant authorities have ensured that all systems are in place for the successful administration of these exams, which take place in the nation’s primary schools.

This year, given the unprecedented crime and violence wave that has engulfed Trinidad and Tobago, many students in schools in crime hot spots have been forced to endure trauma as gang warfare and rampant criminality persist outside their school doors in broad daylight.

Just one month ago, on February 19, 2024, a man was murdered outside of the Gloster Lodge Moravian Primary School in Belmont at 9.10 am, leaving students and staff traumatised to this day.

In light of this frightening new reality, I make a special appeal to the Ministries of Education and National Security, as well as the relevant Police authorities, to ensure that all primary schools in the crime hot spot areas are given special security for this year’s SEA exams.

This includes police patrols and even police guards if deemed necessary, since students in these areas deserve to write these crucial exams in mental and physical comfort and safety as much as their counterparts throughout the country, to have an equal chance of progress in their academic pursuits.

To the beautiful children writing the SEA exams, I want you to trust that your hard work and discipline will ultimately pay off. I congratulate you on reaching this far, and I am very proud of every one of you. I know that you will all do your absolute best in the exams, and that is and will always be more than enough.

If ever you are in doubt, always remember that you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you know.

To the teachers and parents of the SEA class of 2024, I thank you all for your commitment, dedication, hard work, and love for our precious children. They would not have gotten so far without your unwavering love, tutoring, and support during this very demanding period.

I urge all parents to remember that whatever secondary school your child is placed in, he or she will continue to excel once you give them the continued support and love they need in their crucial teenage years.

I further urge all students, parents, and teachers to make a special effort to instil in your children confidence in their abilities, so that, as far as possible, they will be relaxed and at ease when they write the exams.

Take the time to pray as God is the One we must ultimately put our faith and trust in, and know that with His blessings, all good things are possible.

Again, let me wish all students the best of luck for Thursday’s exams and beyond.

Be safe and may God continue to bless and protect us all.

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