TALKBACK: Readers not having it for extra teacher’s day
CITING LITTLE DIALOGUE with teachers over the last “five to six years”, president of the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) Pedro Shepherd called for a second Teachers’ Professional Day as well as a national discussion on education.
During last week’s annual BUT conference, Shepherd lamented the lack of engagement with the Ministry of Education and asked for two professional days in 2017 and 2018 to examine issues affecting the profession.
His Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union counterpart Mary Redman, on the other hand, said a separate time should set aside by the ministry for the dialogue.
Shepherd’s proposal was not popular with online readers. Here are some of their views:
Joey St: I think teachers have gone mad. Why not have a doctor’s pro day, nurse’s pro day, clerk’s pro day, lawyer’s pro day, garbage collector’s pro day, gas attendant’s pro day, etc, etc, et . . . ?
Kwame Bradshaw: Okay teachers, the public was behind wunna all the while . . . but wunna carrying it a bit too far with this one. Can’t support an extra day amongst all the other leave y’all does get. In this instance I say meet the Government halfway. Take a day out of vacation or another national leave and have this discussion.
Maria Holder: I don’t comment too often and I for one don’t care about a second day, but please stop talking about all this vacation we supposedly get because if you pass any secondary school for Christmas and Easter and summer vacations, teachers are there trying to finish the syllabus given by CXC that cannot be completed in the regular school time frame. I don’t know when last I had Christmas or Easter vacation, but hey, all teachers don’t care about the kids and it is just a pay cheque.
Carson Cadogan: In Japan where there are Bajan teachers, they get two weeks’ vacation per year and they have to work six days a week. These in Barbados feel entitled.
Carlos O’Brien: Whole bunch of nonsense; you have gone too far this time. In between the strikes and marches and professional days, when do you lot plan to teach the children? And before you think that you can bash me, I used to be a teacher as well!
Kerri King: Look how fickle the minds of some people are to actually believe that this twisted headline and article was the purpose of the BUT conference. This newspaper has totally taken one part out of context, twisted it to make a tantalising read for the general public. Totally negating the true substance of everything else that was said and done.
Chetwyn Greenidge: How about the implementation of an effective performance management system in lieu of that additional day? This to me is more an imperative.
Annette P Carter: I am usually sympathetic where teachers are concerned but, they get about 12 weeks paid vacation. This is taking a bad joke too far.
Harriette Barker: The teachers and their union are crazy.
Stephen Ramsingh: A national referendum on education is what is needed with an input from all stakeholders, not only in Barbados but throughout the Caribbean. The archaic education system that most Caribbean nations use today is so outdated that we are literally churning out an alarming number of illiterates and a very high percentage of students with no common and analytical sense, more so than students with academic prowess. This forum is a very good example of what I am talking about.
Vernon Harris: To do what? I have never seen or heard anything productive coming out of the day you have and now you want two?
• Sherrylyn Toppin is The Nation’s Online Editor.