Too high a price

Two prominent educators speak out strongly against BSTU-led pay boycott

Teachers at the Parkinson Memorial Secondary School will not be taking part in any boycott of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) over pay.

Principal Jeff Broomes said he met with his teachers yesterday and a decision was made that they would be correcting CXC School Based Assessments (SBA) as usual.

The Barbados Secondary Teachers Union (BSTU) recently announced that its members will no longer be correcting SBAs without pay as performing this task represented an additional responsibility.  The decision is effective from this academic year.

However, speaking to the media at his Pine, St Michael school this morning,  Broomes said while he could not tell teachers at other schools what to do, he could give an assurance that Parkinson teachers would carry out their responsibilities.

He said it was his understanding that the assessments were incorporated in teachers’ duties and therefore it was not a matter for the CXC.

Principal of the Parkinson  Memorial Secondary Jeff Broomes.
Principal of the Parkinson
Memorial Secondary Jeff Broomes.

“Assessments are a part of every teacher’s job and I see SBAs as continued assessment. You are not doing it for CXC. When CXC wants somebody to do work, they engage them to do orals and they pay them,” the veteran educator said.

“They engage them to correct papers and they go to Trinidad or wherever and the Ministry gives teachers time off early to go and do these things and they are paid by CXC,” he said.

The outspoken educator of 40 years said throughout his years in the service, he had never heard that the correcting of SBA’s was an issue.

“I don’t get in people business. I do what I think is right and I am very comfortable that I do not understand how SBA’s are due in April and you are going to say in March that you are not correcting them.

“There are 20 something Caribbean countries that are a part of CXC and the only children who are supposed to suffer are Barbadian children? …  That says a lot to me and I am not pleased. Jamaican children ain’t suffering, Trinidadian children ain’t suffering. . .,” he said.

Broomes added: “We got to tell people what time of the day it is. I feel it is time for people to be told what time of the day it is.”

Meanwhile, Combermere School principal, Vere Parris, today pleaded with teachers not to let Barbadian students become sacrificial lambs of the region by not correcting the SBAs.

Addressing Combermere’s Speech Day, Parris said since continuous assessment was part and parcel of subjects taught by teachers, why were they expecting to be paid separately for doing so.

Combermere School principal Vere Parris.
Combermere School principal Vere Parris.

“Would it be more plausible to request Ministries of Education to provide greater support for schools and teachers or more favourable conditions of service, given the heavy load that teachers carry and which will increase with the Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC) programme?” Parris asked.

He pleaded: “Do not hurt our children and their future! Do not let us be the laughing stock nor let our children be the sacrificial lambs of the region!

“Teachers have children too! Would teachers want their children hurt this way? Do not be like the West Indies team in their recent tour of India. What a price to pay and nothing to gain,” he said.

Parris questioned if Barbados was not the only country in the region adopting such a stance and whether teachers were paid separately for marking course work in the courses they teach.

He said CXC was “a creature of the governments of CARICOM” and Ministries of Education of member countries were fully aware of CXC’s policies, “since there is high-level ministerial representation on decision making committees of CXC”.

“Do the issues being raised by regional teachers unions truly sit only in the lap of the CXC? Can CXC, by the money it collects for administering exams, exist as its own entity or does it rely on subventions from regional governments?” Parris asked.

anestahenry@barbadostoday.bb

5 Responses to Too high a price

  1. Alex Alleyne April 1, 2015 at 6:30 am

    Here are two Principals with ‘guts” . The BSTU leader is all about politics . Lets continue to mess up BDS , the best place to start is with the CHILDREN .

    Reply
  2. Patrick Blackman April 1, 2015 at 9:35 am

    Jeff Broomes, I got your back anytime of the day sir, you are the only sensible guy out there.

    Reply
  3. bajanguyster April 1, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    i have always look up to you Mr broomes and believe me when i say this you’re one of the best out of the rest

    Reply
  4. Cassie April 1, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Teachers around the world who teach and assess at the o’level like IGCSE/GCSE are not paid twice for doing this type of work… what now makes it so different for Bajan teachers? If this was a problem when it was first introduced, then was the appropriate time to make a stand not years and years after. This reminds me of a similar situation some years ago when a principal of a school (remains nameless) asked teaching staff to be more efficient in the execution of their duties by ensuring certain standards of old were maintained and the staff ran to the unions and they cried that their duties were being changed and if they had to perform anymore or any better than what presently obtains then new job descriptions would be needed. No professionals should be unfairly treated in their jobs but when you take a job to do a certain thing for a certain pay do the darn job and done with it or go else where. Teaching is said to be one of the NOBLE

    Reply
  5. Cassie April 1, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    Teachers around the world who teach and assess at the o’level like IGCSE/GCSE are not paid twice for doing this type of work… what now makes it so different for Bajan teachers? If this was a problem when it was first introduced, then was the appropriate time to make a stand not years and years after.

    This reminds me of a situation some years ago at a school were I worked when a principal of a school (remains nameless) asked teaching staff to be more efficient in the execution of their duties by ensuring certain standards of old were maintained and the staff ran to the unions and they cried that their duties were being changed and if they had to perform anymore or any better than what presently obtained then new job descriptions would be needed.

    No professional should be unfairly treated in their jobs but when you take a job to do a certain thing for a certain pay do the darn job and done with it or go else where. Teaching is said to be one of the NOBLE professions, but today its seem to have very few noble people in it who stifle the passion of those true nobles in the mist. For the love of our children and nation and economy do your jobs. Now my mind has just skipped to Senator Garners estimates debate speech where she talked about UWI students being ungrateful and entitled in referenced to the bursaries and I have to wonder, where are all these negative vibes and attitudes in our society coming from….surely this is no longer the God fearing Barbados of old. SMDH.

    Reply

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