Please go beyondinsulting teachers
MANY ministers of education have grappled with the issue of teacher absenteeism.
In their quest to arrest the situation many have resorted to proposing extreme solutions such as extended teaching time. This is another plaster for one of the many sores that affect our education system.
The fact is, according to the Education Act, teachers are allowed their sick and casual leave which they are entitled to take as they see fit. Until this law is amended nothing can be done.
What the Ministry of Education can do is attempt to create a more responsible teacher by creating the physical and psychological environment that will foster and enhance responsible behaviours. Extended teaching time will not do this.
The current minister mentioned international trends to justify his proposal. What we would like to suggest is the need to conduct further comparisons which must include international curriculum content and support services which exist to facilitate the extended teaching time.
These facilities are either non-existent here in T&T or what is available is either inadequate or inefficient, frustrating our teachers even further.
One thing this Minister of Education is getting right — the crackdown on the incompetence which has plagued the various district offices. We continue to encourage him to keep getting his house in order before going into individual schools and embarrassing persons who are operating within the law.