Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday accused certain individuals of trying to stir up racial hatred in the country over a People’s National Movement (PNM) skit.
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Marginal increase in student attendance
Education Minister Anthony Garcia says there was an incremental increase in the number of students who reported to school yesterday and urged parents and guardians to send their children to school for the remainder of the week.
In a release from the Ministry of Education, Garcia said unfortunately too many parents do not send their children to school on Ash Wednesday and they need to send the right message to our children.
Garcia said the consistent effort to remind parents and guardians that “Ash Wednesday is school” has gained some traction as the Ministry has recorded an incremental increase in attendance during the week following Carnival Monday and Tuesday festivities. The Ministry composed an in-house song and campaign to broadcast its message.
The release said since Garcia took office, in 2010, student attendance has improved by almost 10 per cent at the primary level while at the secondary level has increased by 3.2 per cent.
He urged parents and guardians to send their children to school today and tomorrow in order to take advantage of the educational opportunities available to them.
“Students’ attendance at the secondary level was low in all Education Districts ranging from 13 per cent in the North Eastern Education District to 30 per cent in the Port-of-Spain & environs education district with a national average of 28 per cent. At the primary level, attendance was also low in all education districts, ranging from 19 per cent in the northeastern and the southeastern education districts to 36 per cent in the St. George East Education District with a national average of 20 per cent,” the release said.
However, Garcia thanked the thousands of teachers who came out to work today and parents who heeded the call of “Ash Wednesday is school.”
“Contrary to what many may think, reports confirmed the consistency of our teachers coming out to work on Ash Wednesday,” said Garcia.
“Attendance reports collected by school supervisors today indicate a marginal increase in the attendance of students on Ash Wednesday over the corresponding period in 2017. At the secondary level the attendance improved from 18.8 per cent to 19.7 per cent while at the primary level there was an improvement from 25.6 per cent to 28 per cent,” he said.
Garcia said teachers’ attendance continue to be greater than students’ attendance at the secondary level with the attendance of teachers ranged from 65 per cent in the Port-of-Spain & environs education district to 80 per cent in the St George East education district.
“With an average attendance of 71 per cent nationally. At the primary level, teacher attendance varied from 72 per cent in the Victoria Education district to 81 per cent in the St Patrick and northeastern education districts, with a national average attendance of 78 per cent,” Garcia said.
The release added that all SDMS and SWAHA schools were granted a religious holiday yesterday in observance of Maha Shiva Raatri.
However, polls done by the T&T Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) said 90 per cent teachers showed up for duty.
Fitzroy Daniel, general secretary of the union said: “We would like to commend the teachers for attendance as always. We recognise their diligence to duty is of paramount importance to the development of T&T.”
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