COSTAATT student loses exam lawsuit

A Col­lege of Sci­ence, Tech­nol­o­gy and Ap­plied Arts of Trinidad and To­ba­go (COSTAATT) stu­dent’s at­tempt to have him­self re­in­stat­ed for a cru­cial ex­am­i­na­tion for his de­gree has been dis­missed in the Port-of-Spain High Court.

Jus­tice Frank Seep­er­sad ruled in favour of the ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tion, stat­ing that Jamieyel Pan­tor, who is pur­su­ing a Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence in Ra­di­og­ra­phy, failed to pro­vide enough of an ar­gu­ment to over­turn the school’s de­ci­sion.

Pan­tor, 33, of Princes Town, had claimed the school did not give suf­fi­cient rea­son to re­move him from Ju­ly’s Ra­di­og­ra­phy Ex­ter­nal Re­view Ex­am­i­na­tion.

The stu­dent said he was ad­vised via email on June 29 by Dr An­tho­ny Lal­la, a week be­fore the ex­am­i­na­tion, that he would be barred from tak­ing part of the ex­am af­ter he failed an­oth­er course, Ra­di­a­tion Ser­vices.

Pan­tor ar­gued there was no in­di­ca­tion that fail­ing the course would de­bar him from the ex­am which took place from Ju­ly 5 to Ju­ly 23.

In his rul­ing, Seep­er­sad point­ed to the tes­ti­mo­ny of COSTATT pres­i­dent Dr Gillian Paul, which ex­plained the school ad­just­ed its pol­i­cy based on pre­vi­ous stu­dent per­for­mance in the fac­ul­ty.

He said, “The court hav­ing con­sid­ered the ev­i­dence of Dr Paul on be­half of the re­spon­dent who not­ed that there ex­ist­ed a need for a com­pre­hen­sive re­view in De­cem­ber 2017 based on the poor aca­d­e­m­ic per­for­mance in the dis­ci­plines of nurs­ing and al­lied health ser­vice in­clud­ing ra­dio­ther­a­py.”

Seep­er­sad said based on this the school made a de­ci­sion “pri­mar­i­ly based on mat­ters of aca­d­e­m­ic judg­ment.”

He said, “A civ­il court ex­er­cis­ing a pub­lic law func­tion, is not equipped to deal with mat­ters of aca­d­e­m­ic judg­ment nor can this court ar­tic­u­late the way in which ed­u­ca­tion is best ad­vanced.”

Seep­er­sad added, “The ap­pli­cant can­not de­ter­mine the man­ner in which he should be as­sessed by the in­sti­tu­tion and the claims ad­vanced are de­void of mer­it.”

The rul­ing was made with­out any or­der con­cern­ing le­gal costs be­ing dic­tat­ed.

Reporter: Peter Christopher

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