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Thursday 23 November 2017
Local

Teachers’ union complains

TTUTA president Lynsley Doodhai addresses a teachers’ convention yesterday at Presentation College in San Fernando.

TT Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) president Lynsley Doodhai is advising teachers against performing tasks which are not contained in their job description including the formulation of daily and weekly plans and the filling of new report books saying the union had not been consulted about the new primary curriculum by the Ministry of Education.

Addressing the union’s annual district convention of teachers in the Victoria Educational Division at Presentation College, San Fernando, he lamented that the disrespect which continued to be shown to the union was still occurring despite the current Education Minister being a former TTUTA president.

“TTUTA has complained from its inception of a lack of meaningful consultation and even of being disrespected by the Ministry of Education. What is even more disturbing now is the continuation of this lack of consultation and disrespect, even though there is now someone occupying the most influential position in the Ministry of Education, who echoed these same sentiments while serving in the highest capacity in out Association,” Doodhai said.

He said: “The implementation of the new primary curriculum is another example of an intemperate rush to introduce a measure without the necessary pre-requisites being out in place.”

“TTUTA cannot lend its support for the implementation of the new primary curriculum now as our members are suffering every day in their attempts to implement it,” he said. Doodhai told they packed auditorium that they did not have to submit any daily or weekly plans to their principals saying this was not agreed to by the union.

Another bone of contention seemed to be the new report book format saying the union was advising its members to use the old report books as he described the new format as “onerous and difficult” to use. His advice was met with resounding applause as teachers nodded their agreement.

And speaking on the theme, “Teaching in freedom, empowering teachers”. Doodhai cited rampant student indiscipline as one of several reasons why teachers were unable to achieve these goals. It is not uncommon as many of you may have experienced it, for teachers to be verbally or even physically abused by students,” he said.

Doodhai cited “poor physical” infrastructure as another key impediment saying schools are ‘shut down daily for infrastructural, sewer, air-conditioning or ventilation problems. It is now common to hear of a ceiling falling or a school being burnt by fire or of a sewer overflowing,” he said. Doodhai said there was also a “paucity” of official books and forms at some schools saying several; did not have a Students Attendance Register despite the school term entering its sixth week.

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