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Wednesday 22 May 2019
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TTUTA puts SBA’s issue in hands of attorney, general council

THE TT Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA) is relying on the advice of its general council and attorney, on the decision by the Chief Personnel Officer (CPO) making it mandatory for teachers to mark school-based assessments (SBAs).

The general council, which mandates how TTUTA operates, is expected to meet on August 30 to discuss the issue and arrive at a decision after the CPO ruled that teachers have a duty to mark the SBAs.

For months there have been conflicting positions over who is responsible for marking SBAs for students writing the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate exam set by the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) in Barbados.

TTUTA has insisted that the CXC, and not teachers, should mark them.

The association gave Education Minister Anthony Garcia an ultimatum to pay the teachers privately or threatened to refuse to mark the papers for the academic year 2018/2019.

Garcia sought advice from the CPO, who said it was indeed the responsibility of the teachers, and refusing to mark the papers would lead to disciplinary action.

On Tuesday, Kyrla Robertson, TTUTA’s second VP, confirmed that Garcia invited TTUTA to a meeting before announcing this finding at a media conference.

“We would have gone to that meeting, and the minister would have indicated to our president Lynsley Doodhai (who is attending a TTUTA-related event in Jamaica), what the CPO said. He (Garcia) also referred to the fact that he spoke with Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi, and the AG told him to go ahead and rely on the findings of the CPO.

“The minister asked for a comment, but the president would have indicated to him that this matter would be referred to our attorney and the general council, which is in fact what we are doing,” Robertson said.

Teachers have been marking the SBAs, which make up 20 per cent of the final CXC marks, since they were introduced some 28 years ago. Doodhai said this is an additional burden on teachers, who have to take home the scripts to mark them. He said this constitutes “extra duty” for teachers and for that reason they should be compensated separately from their normal salaries.

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