PTAs chief wants Govt to pay up

Parent-Teacher representative Shone Gibbs thinks the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) should take its payment demand for marking schools-based assessments to the level of CARICOM.

BNCPTA president Shone Gibbs reporting to council members.
BNCPTA president Shone Gibbs reporting to council members.

The Barbados National Council of Parent-Teacher Associations (BNCPTA) president also wants Government to pay up its reducing subvention, and is asking that schools show parents more respect.

Gibbs made the comments on Saturday during his president’s address to the BNCPTA annual meeting at The St Michael School, where he was elected to serve
a second term.

The BSTU last month reaffirmed its position that its members would not be marking the SBAs until the Ministry of Education had agreed to the payment demanded for marking the papers, which the union regards as work added to the job descriptions of teachers.

“It is something that should be a regional battle at the level of CARICOM, based on how CXC has been formulated,” Gibbs told the gathering of representatives of parent-teacher associations across Barbados.

The Caribbean Examinations Council, which administers the CXC test papers, is an institution of CARICOM.

Also at that meeting, re-elected treasurer Erwin Jones reported that the BNCPTA remained cash-strapped following its 2015 expenditure of $12,125.

BNCPTA treasurer Erwin Jones reporting the absence of the Government’s subvention.
BNCPTA treasurer Erwin Jones reporting the absence of the Government’s subvention.

“One of the main things that we have not collected this year, but it is due to us, is our subvention.

“The Government always gives to the Barbados National Council of Parent-Teacher Associations, $10,000. We have been having a challenge this year,” Jones said, but added: “The Minister of Education has given us the assurance that we will be given our subvention for the year 2015.”

Gibbs however said he remained “concerned about the delay in our subvention”.

Indicating the public funds transferred to this organization had been seeing a constant reduction, he stated: “It is difficult to operate a national organization with a $10,000 budget, [its having been] reduced from 20 to 12  to ten; and this year I would have to say zero, because it is promised, yet it has not been realized.”

Another area of concern to the BNCPTA president is the regard within the schools for parents.

Following his re-election Gibbs told the media: “The biggest problem that parents continue to complain about is how they’re treated within the system. And that is why I keep saying there must be a protocol on how parents can engage the school, because very often parents believe that they’re profiled in the school system, and they are treated according to the profile.

“There must be a standard that is acceptable to all. It must be the right of a parent to engage a school and enquire about the child, but they must also be respectful in doing so.”

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