PRESIDENT of the TT Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) Lynsley Doodhai has attacked opposition MP Barry Padarath, telling him to keep his “damn advice to himself.”
He locked horns with Padarath, the MP for Princes Town, over the Princes Town Presbyterian Primary #1 which remains closed while students share cramped premises at Princes Town Presbyterian Primary #2, on a shift system basis.
Last week, Padarath pressed the association to finds its voice and deal more decisively on the suffering of students. For this, he incurred Doodhai’s wrath. “TTUTA does not want any damn advice from you. Do not tell us how to regulate our affairs,” Doodhai said as he responded to Padarath’s criticisms.
“TTUTA has always prided itself on being apolitical. The association does not get involved in partisan politics and gamesmanship. However, if the association or our members are dragged into any political bacchanal we will have no choice but to respond.”
Padarath launched his own broadside against Doodhai, saying he is standing by his position that the teachers union need to find its voice and deal with important issues facing the education sector rather than engaging in a tit for tat with him.
Accusing TTUTA of being afraid of Education Minister Anthony Garcia, Padarath insisted, “I am not the enemy. I am trying to help the education sector because it is affecting the children in my constituency.”
Padarath said he was saddened and disappointed by Doodhai’s comments, especially since he had engaged him on several issues affecting the education sector including the fact that children had to sit on the floor during intermission, that there was not shelter to the elements during the changing of shifts, as well as insufficient resources as it related to staff and teaching supplies.
Doodhai said TTUTA is concerned about the Princes Town Presbyterian #1 Primary School, as it is with the more than 20 other schools that have had construction stopped or where the construction is yet to begin. He said they have been regularly raising the plight of all of these schools at their meetings with the MOE and will continue to do so.