Plans to move Tobago up the educational ladder

THA Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles wants to move Tobago’s students “up the ladder.”

During Wednesday’s (June 12) post Executive Council media briefing at the Administrative Complex, Calder Hall, Charles said there is room for improvement in the education system. As the Secretary of Education, Innovation and Energy, and a former schoolteacher, the Chief Secretary wants to lead the way in revamping education on the island.

“I anticipate that within three years we ought not to talk about Tobago being at the lowest rung of the education ladder in Trinidad and Tobago,” Charles said.

“We’ll want to know that they can at least make [within] the first two hundred,” he said, adding, “We’re creating the environment to facilitate that.”

In the recent Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) examinations, 55 Tobago students, ages 12 and under, were asked to re-sit the exam after scoring below 30 per cent. Students with similar scores who were placed in secondary schools because of their age (13 and over), will get remedial help.

Charles said 50 per cent of those students will attend Signal Hill Secondary, and the others were placed at Roxborough Secondary.

They will have “a flexible curriculum in order to take account of where those students are currently at, and then to work with them to move them as seamlessly as possible through the system” the Chief Secretary explained.

He added: “The idea is that once they begin to show the relevant competencies they can transition into a normal secondary track. But in the short term, the emphasis will be on some core subjects and a soft vocational track.”

Charles said the Division also aims to minimise any possible disciplinary problems. “We’re trying to ensure that they’re not frustrated. The intervention is designed to maximise the learning experience of these students.”

He said one major priority of the Division is to improve the literacy and numeracy at all secondary schools.

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