Jones gives teachers tongue lashing over SBA marking

Minister of Education Ronald Jones today gave a tongue lashing to teachers who are demanding payment for marking School Based Assessment (SBA) projects, a necessary component for matriculating the various Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) certification programmes.

In a fiery address this afternoon at the Ellerslie Secondary School’s Speech Day and Prize Giving Ceremony at the Western Light Church of the Nazarene in Oxnards, St James, Jones said the teachers needed to “look into your souls” to determine if teaching was indeed their calling.

He suggested the educators were putting the educational well-being of the students at risk for a few dollars more.

“Teachers, I want to say that you have to look into your souls when you deny children the opportunity to matriculate . . . by simply saying, ‘I want money to mark an SBA’.

“You are going to suffer the little children for $60 or $100 or even $120 [extra]. There is no money that I can offer that would make it palatable for the marking of anybody’s script. We have 180 children in third form [at one school] who didn’t get their SBAs marked and CXC sent back a ‘U’ [ungraded] because somebody thought that they shouldn’t mark the SBAs,” lamented Jones.

The minister did not address the concerns of the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) that correcting SBAs was not part of a teacher’s job description and that the SBAs were an external examination, a position supported by the Caribbean Union of Teachers.

The BSTU has also charged that the CXC was paying some teachers to correct SBA subjects.

However, the Ministry of Education has maintained that the teachers had a duty to mark the exams and would not be paid to do so.

Jones today said as a former teacher himself, he would have had difficulty justifying the position taken by the teachers.   

“I have been a teacher since 1976 and I couldn’t have done it because I couldn’t have slept. I get very passionate about these things . . . . This is my calling and if you say it is your calling you have to follow that calling,” stressed the outspoken minister, a former BSTU president.

“If you go to church you know that every Sunday the pastor, whose calling is to win souls, tries to win souls and makes those altar calls. So what are you telling me; that the ones who should really be like Jesus Christ, who was the first and greatest teacher, are going to now renege on that responsibility? It is not fair to the youth of Barbados and the children . . . Look into your consciences; look into your souls,” the minister said to a loud applause from the audience.

One of the arguments put forward by the BSTU is the volume of work involved in fulfilling the SBA requirement for the CXC.

Jones said his ministry was open to the idea of obtaining additional help for the teachers with higher numbers of SBAs to correct. However, he gave no indication that he was willing to compromise on the payment issue.

14 Responses to Jones gives teachers tongue lashing over SBA marking

  1. Goody Gmarts
    Goody Gmarts December 15, 2016 at 3:55 am

    Poor soul he trying to use reverse psychology to get teachers feeling guilty for not marking SBA papers without payment. What a lost cause.

  2. Adrian Reid
    Adrian Reid December 15, 2016 at 4:10 am

    Mr j you and your son could mark them papers to…

  3. Macmood Tata
    Macmood Tata December 15, 2016 at 5:13 am

    N we gun gee x lashes in d ballot box

  4. Nicola Sally Thompson
    Nicola Sally Thompson December 15, 2016 at 5:38 am

    What about the SBA’s for CCSLC for 3rd formers last year from CS that have not been marked, graded or submitted so every child got a U Mr. Ronald Jones? These are just as important as CSEC & CAPE.

  5. Anne Ince
    Anne Ince December 15, 2016 at 6:33 am

    Teachers should be paid for xtra work. Its a career,not a volunteer situation. If you provide assistance,will these people be paid ? Smh..bully..

    • Shelly Ross
      Shelly Ross December 15, 2016 at 9:33 am

      How is it extra work….SBAs are internal exams. The teachers do not have to correct exam papers or do reports for 5th formers who also go off from school early and free up teaching time…so what is the fuss about?
      Teachers have several ‘free periods’ that they use for personal business, some even stay away from school when they do not have classes – and they cannot correct SBAs unless they get paid.
      What a message they send to the youth!

  6. Kearn Williams
    Kearn Williams December 15, 2016 at 7:34 am

    Bet u if d government start charging teachers a fee for using d government schools for those exorbitant prices they charge d poor parents for lessons you would hear them cussing. My sister has been a teacher for years and she has NEVER EVER charged any parent for lessons. She says she views it as a service and giving back to community by helping those who are less fortunate. She is very intelligent and was happy to be one of those bright sparks to attend one of the top schools in Barbados. So why not help were u can. Go ahead and cuss me if you want. Merry xmas

  7. Realist December 15, 2016 at 8:01 am

    KW, who asked your sister to teach lesson? My take on lessons is that if you cannot learn during the day when your belly is full then you cannot learn too much after three o’clock when your belly is empty. So get out of here with that foolish lessons talk. The fact remains that we Barbadians cannot get Jones to work for his pay (lazy son-of-a-gun). He just doesn’t have what it takes (poor fella) but he wants teacher to put in extra hours. Then he continues to disrespect them. Jones the Jack A**.

  8. A. O. Gibson December 15, 2016 at 8:33 am

    The SBA component of CXC has always been burdensome. Parents who pay close attention to their children’s school life know about their children’s side of this story and are justifiably peeved and upset when, after all that effort, the ‘projects’ are not marked.
    The School Based component of CXC exams was required only in fourth and fifth forms. It was a burden, but teachers would ‘grin and bear it’. Then it was introduced in sixth form, both lower sixth and upper sixth, and teachers became overwhelmed.
    There are some among us who have publicly stated that the teachers are being unreasonable in the stance they have taken. I have noted that for the most part, these are former PRIMARY SCHOOL teachers (like Minister Jones), present and former Secondary School principals whose subject areas do not involve an SBA component, and people who are not teachers and so have little or no first-hand knowledge of what the monitoring and marking of SBA’s entail. Spouses and other immediate family members of teachers can shed some light. He who feels it knows it.
    If Minister Jones is open to the idea of obtaining additional help for the teachers, that means he has some inkling that it is indeed a burden.
    On a related note, The Barbados Ministry of Education has decided that ALL our children MUST sit the CCSLC, whether they need it or not. It is intended for those students who are not likely to reach a grade 3 or better at the CSEC level. So what happens? As far as I can ascertain, it is being done in the second and third form at those schools where the children are more academically able (read ‘don’t need it’).
    But what about those children for whom CCSLC was intended? There is a significant number of fifth formers at PARKINSON who have not been entered for CSEC Mathematics nor English. In at least one case, a whole form. This is acknowledgement that they are not likely to attain a grade 3.
    I can accept that. But why have they not been entered for CCSLC Mathematics and English at least?
    At the end of the day, the beautiful statistics for CCSLC will be a reflection of the wonderful performance of those high fliers at HC and Foundation etc., (not the school where CXC returned Ungraded ).
    And we will still be wondering why we have so many angry young people wreaking havoc in our society.
    So Minister Jones maybe you can ask the good people over at PARKINSON (and I am sure they are other schools) to give the children in fifth form a shot at the 50 multiple choice questions for CCSLC, since we accept they might not pass the CSEC. You still have from now until June to mark a few pieces of SBA for them. You can do it in class-time instead of having them mark time from now until June, when you can kick them out of school with nothing. Not even an opportunity to get something.
    And Minister Jones, while you are at it, maybe you can get them some help from your former union colleague who gives free lessons and drives around proudly associating himself with PARKINSON. He teaches English really well.

  9. Jack de Ripper December 15, 2016 at 9:13 am

    Realist your head in a cloud. Doing anything extra outside of the normal among with make you better, if not great. Whether academic athletic technical etc. So to believe your theory means you might need some remedial studies yourself. I had a relative completely failing at maths until he took lessons and he’s a math teacher today. Belly empty or full, maybe it was the teacher otlr maybe the method but something changed and something worked. Everyone is after the almighty dollar at everyone’s expense….crabs in barrel and always want to hold someone to ransom. This education system in Barbados is becoming ridiculous, from this to schools uninhabitable, teachers striking when will the children be put first.

  10. BaJan boy December 15, 2016 at 10:25 am

    Jones gets paid three times as much as teachers for doing less than half of what they do. He was one just going to Parliament to get a 10% raise and that was fine. Why should local teachers do the work of the CXC a regional body for nothing. Sure when the clowness was Union President he would have fought for the payment.

  11. Marie December 16, 2016 at 6:18 am

    Everyone is forgetting the point that CSEC charges a very high fee for its exams, “it is not cheap”. They have workers who are doing little to nothing and earning very high pay. I presently have 100 students doing CSEC which means I have 100 SBA to grade apart from my regular school work. It is very hard on some teacher. My family has suffer from me not having anytime for my children, because I am doing SBA work at home. What do you mean teachers have extra time when they are not doing anything and do personal work. I work from 7:30 when school is called until 2:15 when it is dismiss. There are many days when I do not have lunch as my lunch time is taken up preparing for the class after lunch or marking papers to return to students and meet the deadlines set by school administrations. Many of you out there do not know the workings of teachers, however you all think you know and it is a easy job. You don’t take home your work everyday, we do. CSEC has given teachers extra work!!!
    They have pass on some of the work they are charging parents for to teachers without having to pay for it. I have not has a Christmas for some years, because I spend the break correcting SBA to returned to students, so that they can get a good grade. It is the teachers who have to supervise these SBA. many parents are doing nothing. Every time teachers asked for something we are being selfish or greedy. What are you saying we did not pay for our qualification as other persons? Are you saying that what we are being paid is what we are worth? I have a Masters degree and I can hardly meet my living expenses! Yes but I still get up every day and send my children to school and go to work to do some of the things you parents refuse to do for your children. So what if teachers asked to be paid to mark SBA. it means that they can afford to pay someone now do the work that they are unable to do because of the extra work they are given and anyway CSEC is charging for it.

  12. Mike December 16, 2016 at 11:29 am

    At least someone has the common sense to recognize that CXC is the “brutish beast” in all of this foolishness.
    They are not accepting the fact that they are the copywrite owners of SBA’s. What arrogance and grandstanding, and nobody wants to call them to accont. Like most regional institutions,”untouchables” a la CDB, UWI et al .
    The regional Teachers’ Union (CUT) must direct their concerns to the Caribbean Examination Council . Thats my take on it.


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