Education Minister Anthony Garcia says students and teachers were given adequate time to prepare for the changes to this year's SEA examination.
This comes amid growing concern that some parts of the Mathematics section of the exams were not appropriate for Standard 5 students.
But in a statement issued Monday, the minister said the changes were made with sufficient time.
The following is the minister's statement.
Minister of Education, Anthony Garcia says there was nothing wrong with the Mathematics section of the SEA examination and adds that the challenges faced by students should be "expected".
The Minister was addressing a question posed in Parliament today on the topic.
The question, asked by Caroni East MP, Dr Tim Gopeesingh, was: "Could the Minister indicate the consequences and remedial action required to be taken with respect to the concerns regarding the mathematical component of the Secondary Entrance Assessment examination papers on Thursday, April 04, 2019?"
After months of studying and sacrifice pupils in south Trinidad yesterday expressed relief and happiness after sitting the Secondary Entrance Assessment.
“I am very relieved and I feel very happy because now I could get to do a lot of fun activities with my family and friends,” said Trishna Sookdeo shortly after leaving the examination room at Debe Hindu Primary School.
Some 18,849 students are expected to sit the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) in over 483 primary schools across the country today.
The examination comprises focus in two subject areas - English Language and Mathematics. This will be split into three papers which all students must attempt - English Language Arts and Creative Writing, Mathematics and English Language Arts.
The mathematics component carries 100 marks, the English Language Arts 60 and the English Language Arts and Creative Writing 40.
The Ministry of Education is still in consultation with stakeholders to determine whether they should stop publishing the results of the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA), which will come off tomorrow, in local newspapers. However, some of these stakeholders say they believe it should not be published.
A total of 18,849 pupils across Trinidad and Tobago will be sitting the Secondary Entrance Assessment next week, a key examination which will determine their placement in the secondary school system.
They will become the first group of students in eight years to write the exam during the second term of the academic year. Usually, the exam is held in the first two weeks of May. This year the exam will be held on April 4.
The earlier exam will allow examiners more time to correct the papers.
The Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) says it will activate a hotline to ensure that efficient electricity service is maintained at all Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) centres on the day of the examination, April 4th, 2019.
T&TEC has said in a statement that effective from 12 noon, April 3rd, and continuing until 3 pm on exam day, principals and supervisors can call or text the T&TEC hotline at 794-4823 or 794-7264 to report any disruption in their electricity service or any electrical safety concerns.