Time to address issues


Teachers could very well be taking action in “their own professional interest” if matters related to CXC school-based assessments are not properly addressed by the Ministry of Education.

And this is one of the issues that will be discussed by the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union membership, when they gather for Teachers’ Professional Day this Friday at Solidarity House at 9 a.m.

In a statement this evening, the BSTU said: “This year, of great importance to the teaching fraternity, the Union will use the opportunity to galvanise teachers into devising a strategic approach to address the problem of the burden that the CXC school-based assessment places on them as professionals. The BSTU had been, since 2006, demanding compensation for its members for the added responsibilities of the supervision, correction and data entry requirements imposed on them by CXC through their SBA requirements.

“The BSTU has taken its efforts to the Ministry of Education and at the regional level, to the Caribbean Union of Teachers (CUT). It is the BSTU’s understanding that an officer of the CUT on Tuesday October 15, 2013, made a presentation to the OECS Education Ministers in Antigua in this regard. The document presented was compiled since 2006 by a Committee of the CUT headed by BSTU president Mary-Anne Redman. The BSTU president is adamant that if there can be no agreement recanted by the CXC and/or the regional governments within this school year in relation to the provision of compensation for the ever-increasing workload imposed by the CXC SBA requirement then the teachers will have act in the advancement of their own professional interest,” the statement noted.

The union promised that on Friday it would devise “a uniform strategy” on the matter, further urging its membership of the importance of attending the meeting.

“The union will also be addressing the content of a circular originating from the Chief Education Officer which has implications for its members, especially as this relates to ‘signing in’. The President will also direct her attention to recent comments made by the Minister of Education, including those in relation to the presence of teacher trade unions on school compounds,” said the BSTU.

Also included in the planned activities will be a panel discussion on the topic Recent Threats To Diminish The Role Of Teacher Trade Unions in Education Policy Making, with panellists including retired Principal of Deighton Griffith School, John Blackman; retired teacher and social commentator, Ralph Jemmott; and renowned trade unionist and former BSTU head, Patrick Frost, .

A lunch will be hosted for all participants at BSTU Union headquarters followed by a social. (LB) 

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