Several of Tobago's schools stayed closed on Monday, the first day of the new school year.
The TT Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) maintained its call for teachers to stay home on Monday to "rest and reflect" on the State’s treatment of them.
TTUTA was offered a four per cent increase in salaries, across the board, similar to other public-service employees. Last Friday, TUTTA's general council rejected the offer in a letter to the Chief Personnel Officer (CPO).
Newsday visited several schools in the western part of the island.
Parents of the children at Signal Hill Government Primary School were forewarned by the school’s administrator on Sunday evening to keep their children at home.
The message posted in the school’s group WhatsApp chat said: “Teachers are expected to heed the call of TTUTA to rest and reflect tomorrow Monday. There will be challenges in the supervision of students. In light of this, the promotion process will take place on Tuesday 6th September.”
A mother at the St Andrew’s Anglican Primary School said she met locked gates at the school, as she had not been informed of the teachers’ absence.
“I know of TTUTA’s call, but the school really said nothing. I got there to drop off my child, and as excited as she was for day one, we were informed by the security personel on duty that there is no school.”
At the Mt St George Methodist Primary School, students were also turned away.
Classes at the Speyside Secondary School also remained closed on Monday.
A press release from the THA Division of Education, Research and Technology at 11pm on Sunday said the school will reopen on Tuesday.
It said at a virtual meeting which included the secretary, assistant secretary, school supervisor III, project manager of the Project Implementation Unit and the school principal, they decided collectively to use Monday to complete all high-priority projects at the school.