Secretaries and Assistant Secretaries of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) on Monday (April 6 2013) distributed pencils, erasers, sharpeners, rulers and other examination day supplies to the 839 pupils taking Thursday’s SEA examination at centres throughout the island.
Chief Secretary Orville London visited the seven primary schools in his electoral district of Scarborough/Calder Hall to distribute supplies to the pupils and to give them a pep talk to assist in preparing them for the examination.
Secretary of Education, Sport and Youth Affairs Councillor Gary Melville said there are 406 girls and 433 boys taking the examination this year. He said guidance counselors of the Education Divisions have been visiting the schools holding sessions with the pupils to help them in their examination day preparedness.
Meanwhile Councillor Melville also announced that five Early Childhood Education Centres will be constructed in Tobago later this year at Milford Court, Courland, Adventure, Belle Garden and Roxborough with a loan from the Inter American Development Bank (IDB).
He said these centres will be tied in with his Division’s goal of early childhood education for all children in Tobago by 2016. He added that as part of the process the Division will be working with the Ministry of Education, TUTTA and various early childhood educators in Tobago to upgrade the terms and conditions under which the teachers work. Councillor Melville said the THA intends to provide fair compensation to the teachers according to their respective qualification.
He said the Assembly will also work with privately owned centres to ensure their infrastructure was up to standard for children to receive a proper education since this was very important for their later education.
Councillor Melville said the Assembly also plans to provide a subvention to the privately run centres so as to reduce the cost to parents as a step towards free universal early childhood education in Tobago.