EVERY child who wrote the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) examinations in May will be placed in a secondary school this coming September, and there is no need for parents to panic, says Minister of Education Anthony Garcia.
Garcia was responding to questions raised in an internal memo issued by the Ministry of Education to secondary school principals who were told that there was a shortfall of 800 spaces at secondary schools, that the principals needed to re-examine their in-take of pupils.
Garcia said there was no shortfall and that parents should not be concerned.
Garcia explained that the circular was sent to the School Supervisor III, and was nothing new. He said, however, that there was a breach regarding the letter getting into the public domain.
He said: “There is no shortfall. The 800 figure that was purposed was a figure that is something that we do every year. Last year was almost the same thing, year before was the same thing. It is a process that we follow every single year and the important point is this circular was not supposed to be in the public domain.”
Garcia said that a memo is sent every year to school principals to indicate their in-take amount.
“It (the letter) simply means that the information that we received from the principals would indicate that there is a shortfall in terms of the information that they have given to us but in reality there is no shortfall. As I have been saying over and over, some principals would indicate to us a letter intake and we are simply asking them please give us the numbers. Students are placed in schools based on their performance,” said Garcia.
He said that there will be no overcrowding at schools for the new school terms.
Garcia said the letter is done every year and reassurance the public that every child will be placed in September for the new school term.
He said: “there will be a place for every child who wrote the exam. That circular was never meant to be in the public domain and that calls into question the confidentiality of some of our senior officers at the MOE. It is a process that we follow every year, first written to primary schools asking them to provide us with information with respect to their proposed intake. And every year we have to ask principals to re-examine the information that they give to us just to ensure that all of the students who wrote the exams are placed. It is nothing to panic about, it is something that we are accustomed to doing every year.”
Garcia said that the SEA results are expected to be released on the first week of July, which would be the end of the school term.