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CEBM CEO hopes Maraval RC students given option of SEA ‘make up exam’

CEBM CEO Sharon Mangroo

Testing was to begin last Monday, July 27 of 76 Standard Five pupils and 12 staff of the Maraval RC School who were quarantined after a peer tested positive for COVID-19. The boy’s family also tested positive and they all were sent to the Caura Hospital. Contacts of the persons who may have been exposed had to be checked.

The Catholic Education Board of Management (CEBM) has suggested the option of the pupils being allowed to sit the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) “make up exam”, which is held for children unable to sit the exam on the scheduled date— this year August 20— due to serious illness etc.

Chief Executive Officer of the CEBM Sharon Mangroo told Catholic News parents should be given a choice, whether the child sits the SEA on the scheduled date and/or the subsequent make-up exam.

Mangroo noted due to quarantine the Standard Five pupils would have lost two weeks of face-to-face class time and when they return would have one week to “settle” before SEA. “It will be tough on them,” she said.

After the positive result of the pupil Friday, July 24, the principal got to work with a teacher compiling information which was sent to the County Medical Officer of Health St George West for contact tracing and Education Ministry. Mangroo said the principal had the school sanitised. Another round of sanitisation was to take place.

A July 25 release from the CEBM after news broke of the pupil’s COVID-19 positive status stated, “the last time any student or staff member would have been in direct contact with the student who tested positive would have been Wednesday, July 22.”

Mangroo stated that the student did not show any signs of illness in the three days that he attended school. He was taken home early on Wednesday by his mother and on Thursday morning, his mother informed the principal that in keeping with the guidelines she had issued, the boy was being kept home as he was unwell.

In a separate release issued by Catholic Media Services Ltd on behalf of the parish, it was announced “out of an abundance of caution”, the Our Lady of Lourdes RC Church, Maraval which is located next to the Maraval RC School, and Our Lady of Guadalupe RC Church, Paramin were closed for one week starting Saturday, July 25.

Masses were held virtually in the interim via the the Roman Catholic Cluster of Maraval, Paramin & Cameron Facebook page; the churches reopened August 1. The two churches were to be sanitised.

Last Monday the number of COVID cases increased by one to 148 with a man who went to the Arima District Hospital. —LPG