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Trinidad: Senior Education official blamed for President’s Medal confusion

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By Derek Achong (Trinidad Guardian) The Ministry of Education has blamed a senior official for wrongly informing a student, whom it identified as the top performer in the 2020 Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) examination, that she would receive an award for placing second.

The explanation was given in a press release issued Thursday afternoon, following reports that the ministry had agreed to reverse its decision to award Ameerah Beekhoo the President’s Medal (Silver) instead of the President’s Medal (Gold) after lawyers representing her parents threatened to file legal action over the issue earlier this week.

In the release, which did not mention Beekhoo by name, the ministry explained that it has a policy of announcing placement in the examination using preliminary results issued by the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC).

It said parents are then permitted to query the results with CXC, with the process taking almost two months.

“This query may or may not alter the marks of students, but does not alter the preliminary placement list, upon which awards are made. This policy has been followed for many years,” it said.

The ministry claimed that despite the set policy, a senior official of the ministry took the unauthorised decision to use the reviewed results to inform students of an award ceremony at President’s House next Monday.

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