TT Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) Tobago officer Bradon Roberts has pledged to work alongside the THA Division of Education, Research and Technology for the improvement of the sector.
Roberts was speaking to Newsday on Wednesday after TTUTA representatives met with officials of the education division the previous day.
Last week Roberts had told Newsday that he was urgently seeking a meeting with THA Secretary of Education, Research and Technology Zorisha Hacket to address some concerns. He claimed to have made several attempts to schedule a meeting but had been unsuccessful.
Roberts said he felt optimistic after Tuesday's meeting.
“It came across well – it was basically to initiate our interactions, set that tone and discuss some of the umbrella issues that policy making can change.”
Some of the umbrella issues, he said included “that interaction with the Teaching Service Commission, with the ministry; file management – we have a lot of issues where things are not progressing because files are not handled properly and so forth. So, systems to put in place to treat with those things were addressed.”
He said the division and TTUTA working together will augur well for everyone.
“TTUTA has always been committed to working with the division. Although there are issues where we would need to advocate to a higher level but initially, a working relationship with the division would benefit our members and benefit teachers.”
He said there is an opportunity where “everybody can win.”
“So that is where the goal is – to work together to improve the status on the island. We may be able to make an impact and set that trend for the national landscape.”
He said he is encouraged to work with the division as Hackett and Assistant Secretary Orlando Kerr both have backgrounds in education. Hackett and Kerr are former secondary school teachers, and the latter was also Roberts' predecessor at TTUTA.
Roberts said the secretaries come in with the intention to do well.
“I would want to relate to them in their new capacities and not so much in what they used to be, although it’s a plus in this scenario where these secretaries are needed now to get with the issues from within as they would have been aware of the issues from on the outside and being affected as teachers themselves.”