TTUTA uneasy as face-to-face classes restart in ten days

File photo: TTUTA president Antonia Tekah De Freitas.
File photo: TTUTA president Antonia Tekah De Freitas.

Just days aways before face-to-face classes resume for forms four, five, and six students, Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) president Antonia De Freitas has said teachers are uneasy and not confident.

Face-to-face classes are expected to resume on October 1 for children in these forms who are fully vaccinated.

On Sunday, De Freitas told Newsday some concerns must be addressed for the reopening to run smoothly.

She listed concerns over school infrastructure and poor internet connectivity.

“Some schools still do not have proper internet connectivity, electrical systems to take that additional load. Those are concerns we have. We put those concerns on the table to the Ministry of Education where we met with them last week. However, we are yet to get a response in terms of the status and type of work to be done to have the schools in a safe state.”

She said the general council believes there is no solid reason to have these students return to school to prepare for exams.

“We believe if any return of students should take place it should be in the same context as we did earlier this year, where only the students who have practical components for their subjects for SBA or lab components for the SBA should be the ones returning to the face-to-face environment.”

The issues of supervision and balancing online and face-to-face classes are yet to be addressed.

“We have no information on the recruitment and selection of substitute teachers, or the remit of such persons. At the same time, we would hope, as we indicated to the ministry, that the substitute teachers who are being introduced for this exercise would not be used to fill vacancies that should be served by the Teaching Service Commission in the required manner.

“Form four and five teachers, when they are interacting with their students in the physical space, should not be expected to do synchronous lessons with their other classes, who are not in the physical space, especially the classes in the lower form. We see that as a requirement for restructuring and reorganising of the timetables at all levels in all classes.”

TTUTA also hopes all schools would have proper signage and the necessary resources for regular sanitisation of buildings and other areas of the grounds.

Minister of Education Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly could not be reached for comment.


"TTUTA uneasy as face-to-face classes restart in ten days"

More in this section