Less than 20 percent of all secondary school students turned up for school today and in primary schools, only 28 percent of all students attended.
These figures have been released by the Ministry of Education, which says they show slight improvement over last year.
At the secondary level the attendance improved from 18.8% in 2017 to 19.7% while at the primary level there was an improvement from 25.6% to 28.0%.
The Ministry says teachers’ attendance continue to be greater than students’ attendance, as the secondary level, attendance of teachers ranged from 65% in the Port of Spain & Environs Education District to 80% in the St. George East Education District, with an average attendance of 71% nationally.
At the primary level, teacher attendance varied from 72% in the Victoria Education District to 81% in the St. Patrick and North Eastern Education Districts, with a national average attendance of 78%.
Students’ attendance at the secondary level was low in all Education Districts, ranging from 13% in the North Eastern Education District to 30% in the Port of Spain & Environs Education District, with a national average of 28%.
At the primary level, attendance was also low in all Education Districts, ranging from 19 % in the North Eastern and the South Eastern Education Districts to 36% in the St. George East Education District with a national average of 20%.
All SDMS and SWAHA schools were granted a religious holiday on Wednesday 14th February, 2018 in observance of Maha Shiva Raatri.
The Ministry says 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.
Parents and guardians are being urged to send their children to school on Thursday 15th and Friday 16th February, 2018 in order to take advantage of the educational opportunities available to them.