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They really go above and beyond


They really go above and beyond

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MAYBE I AM LIVING in a different Barbados than other Barbadians, especially those who are expecting better of teachers, although they agree that teachers more often than not go beyond the call of duty.

Fellow letter writer Rollins Howard readily acknowledgesthe strong influences impacting on his life that came from his schoolteachers. He agrees teaching is much more than a job; it is a profession.

Mr Howard stated in a guest column in the last WEEKEND NATION that the teaching profession cannot be just about money. He further emphasised that in almost every instance when the teachers’ unions are militant, money appears to be at the forefront of their actions.

I want to be assured the writer is not using the word profession loosely, that he understands it is intricately linked to the word money and is not directly associated with charitable and philantropic activity.

The World Book Dictionary describes profession as “an occupation requiring special education such as law, medicine, teaching or the ministry; any calling or occupation by which a person habitually earns his living”.

Persons who engage in the activity of reading newspapers on a daily basis would have read reports for a number of years about a grievance where some teachers, and not all, were being paid and were asking for all to be treated equally and fairly.

Prior to and during the issue connected with the school-based assessments marking, there were several other complaints and grievances brought by the teachers’ unions.

It is therefore a misunderstanding of the facts to say that money appears to be at the forefront of the unions’ actions. There are a number of issues other than money reported by various print media that include the following:

• Unhealthy, unsafe and inadequate working conditions at a number of secondary and primary schools, especially at the beginning of the school year/term.

• Teachers being assaulted by pupils and parents.

• Requests for security guards to be employed at all public schools.

• Ongoing requests for the appointment of teachers.

• How teachers should respond on Teachers’ Professional Day.

Teachers do go beyond the call of duty. Teachers are professionals. Teachers are part and parcel of unionised workers in Barbados.

I also want to be assured that job descriptions are not being altered unilaterally.