Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Parents demand replacement teachers

...placard protest staged at Point Fortin Anglican Primary School


Parents and pupils outside the Point Fortin Anglican Primary School today. Photo by Dave Persad

Donstan Bonn

Placard bearing parents stood outside the Point Fortin Anglican School today, demanding replacements for four retired teachers.

The parents complained that the teachers, who retired last year, were never replaced causing a burden on the staff at the school.

Parent Teacher Association (PTA) president Sandra Danglade said three classes were affected by the staff shortage. The school has a population of 568 pupils.

"The First Year, Standard Two and Standard Three teachers retired last year. And since then we are hearing we will get new teachers, but none has come. In these cases two classrooms are joined so one teacher has to teach 40-plus children. This is a strain on the teacher," she said.

The Express was told that the school's principal also retired last term.

Danglade said several requests to the Ministry of Education for additional teachers remained unanswered. "So we decided this morning to take our children out of school and protest outside the school, hoping the ministry would hear us and do something," she said.

About 50 parents and children, holding up placards, marched outside the school, calling for Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh to intervene.

"Our children have to write national test just now and they don't have a teacher. These teachers here are pulling their weight, but it is just too much for them," Danglade said.

She said parents and teachers have worked hard to build the school and improve its standards and they were not prepared to let all their hard work fall through.

"We will keep up this protest until someone hears our cries. We are begging the minister to help us to educate our children. We need teachers now. We have been waiting patiently, but nothing has happened," she said.

Yolanda Morales-Carvalho, media coordinator for the Ministry of Education, was not immediately available for comment. But the Express was told that teachers would be appointed to the school this term.