TTUTA: Pre-covid19 school infrastructure still an issue

TTUTA president Antonia De Freitas. -
TTUTA president Antonia De Freitas. -

PRESIDENT of the TT Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) Antonia De Freitas said there are still health, safety, and infrastructure issues in some schools, even before covid19 arrived in TT in March, are yet to be properly rectified.

In a brief phone interview with Newsday on Thursday, De Freitas said she will raise the matter with the Ministry of Education and will continue to monitor these areas of concern.

She said these issues included water connection, improper ventilation, and the readiness of labs and workshops for students to complete their School Based Assessments (SBAs) and practicals.

She said, however, that after visits to several schools, and in conversations with secondary school principals, it was satisfied with the covid19 entry protocols at schools for the first two weeks of the physical reopening of schools.

Forms four, five, and sixth form students were allowed to return to schools to prepare for Caribbean Secondary Entrance Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE).

She said temperature checks, sanitisation stations, and wash sinks have all been installed at schools.

“We hope schools will be supported through funding and monitoring by the Ministries of Education and Health.”

She said there have been varied reports of the total number of students who turned out. She said there was a full turnout of five and six students preparing for SBA’s and practicals, but not all of the students expected to return were accounted for.

She said teachers are monitoring student attendance and will continue to communicate with parents and the Ministry of Education.

De Freitas said principals indicated they collected some funding from the ministry, but not the amount that they initially expected and have had to adjust their daily operations to suit what they were given.

She said teachers were also able to adjust the curriculum and timetables to deal with juggling students in physical and online classes.

She said TTUTA is committed to supporting its teachers and will continue to monitor the students’ progress.


"TTUTA: Pre-covid19 school infrastructure still an issue"

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