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Teachers threaten to stay home Thursday and Friday

By Nikki Williams

Parents are being advised to keep their children home on Thursday and Friday because of possible industrial action to be undertaken by teachers across the country. Once again, Tobago teachers are announcing their full support for action taken in response to the latest proposed salary increase from the Chief Personnel Officer (CPO). Last Friday, teachers embarked on another day of 'rest and reflection'; many schools were left unattended.

TUTTA Officer for Tobago, Claudette Governor told Tobago News that approximately 90% of the teachers stayed away from school last Friday.

According to Governor, the TUTTA negotiating team met with the CPO on November 9, in attempt to narrow the gap for teachers based on the external labor market.

However the proposed amounts of 4.7% increase for grade 1-3 teachers and 6.4% increase for grade 4-8% were not accepted.

Another meeting was held on November 16th which narrowed the gap to 81%. That would work out to an 8.5% increase for teachers in grades 3-4. The majority of teachers fall into this category.

Governor explained that while the General Council had scheduled a meeting, it was clear that the union was not prepared to accept the present offer of 8.5% that is on the table. On Friday, the negotiating team will meet with the CPO to further deliberate the faith of the teachers. In the meantime, teachers are on standby to rest and reflect this Thursday and Friday if their demands are not met.

Meanwhile, teachers at the Signal Hill Comprehensive School were called to an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the state of a pupil who was injured on the compound on Friday. A fight among students at the school on Friday left one student critically injured. Teachers have been complaining for some time that the one dean assigned to a school of over 800 pupils is inadequate. However, their pleas have not been acceded to by the Division of Education, Youth Affairs and Sport.

Reports are that the male, form six pupil was allegedly hit in his head with a bottle and suffered a broken nose. Teachers rushed to the scene and battled to assist the student who was bleeding profusely. He was rushed to the Scarborough General Hospital before being transferred to Trinidad.

The attack was allegedly carried out by a school gang led by two brothers.

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Tobago Mother said on Friday, Nov 30 at 7:53 PM

The whole problem with Tobago is that there is no accountability in any government department.People just pushing papers around with angry incompetent faces. There is hoggishness at Immigration department, Inaccuracy on "Bort Papers" from the Registrar, Incompetence, complacency and carelessness in Board of Inland Revenue and plenty teachers retired with no pension and poor assessments. How could Tobagonians be happy under such stress. They must rest and reflect. IS LIKE THE WHOLE island resting and reflecting.

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Anonymous said on Friday, Nov 30 at 5:32 PM

So many negative comments about teachers. This just shows the level of ignorance about teachers' issues.

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the virginian said on Thursday, Nov 29 at 9:15 PM

Anonymous@11/28,6:15PM;everything you've articulated is meritorious and correct assuming that we live in a perfect world,of course.But I know you'd accept that we don't and therein lies the problem.You see,there're no codified standards or programs that parents must insure their kids have mastered prior to school age.Furthermore,what might seem socially responsible and functioning to some parents might not meet or barely meet minimum standards conducive to learning.So especially in the elementary school setting,a teacher might be called upon to impart more than formal instructions.That's why,among other things,at least undergraduate certification in social science disciplines such as psychology and sociology should be required of all permanent and full time teachers especially in the elementary environment.

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Anonymous said on Wednesday, Nov 28 at 2:15 PM

Virginian. The process of socialization starts way before school age. It's a parents responsibility to deliver to the school gates on day one, at least a semi socially functioning little human. Saves time in the end for teachers to get on with job they are employed to do....Teach

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RJ said on Monday, Nov 26 at 7:02 PM

Teachers need to set the right example, as they are like second parents. They play a vital role in molding and shaping children'slives. What children are taught by teachers can impact them for a lifetime.

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trinitothebone said on Sunday, Nov 25 at 9:15 PM

Over the years children have seen policitians, behaving in an unruly manner to get a statement across to the populace, Lokk at the Chief Secretary wasn't he a Teacher at the Signal Hill Secondary School.He have entered politics, and what development under his watch have Tobago gotten.At the present the Libary is not yet finished, who is to blame for the children of Tobago not getting a finished Libary, many years gone by the Libary was a source of inspiration for the young budding story teller, but now children with high energy need an outlet.Lets be reasonable the Libary van played an important role in getting our children books to read. I wonder if that van is still functional. So teachers request that the libary can be finished so that you can take your class to the libary.

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the virginian said on Sunday, Nov 25 at 10:07 AM

Anonymous@8:36AM,if those,especially in the elementary school,teaching profession can't or are unable to function in some very limited capacity as socialworker,cop,or babysitter,in addition to providing formal instructions,then perhaps it's reasonable to expect them to find another profession.Are they held under duress in the teaching profession?I don't think so.

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Anonymous said on Sunday, Nov 25 at 8:36 AM

Teachers.... are just that. If you want them to be social workers, policemen or babysitters then expect to pay them accordingly. Parents are responsible for their childs moral upbringing. No one else.

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super said on Saturday, Nov 24 at 8:59 PM

well said Parents blog,indeed , reform is needed , parents must be more involved with their off spring ,teaching is a difficult profession , education is the only way to lead Tobago out of poverty and crime ,

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BullPistle said on Saturday, Nov 24 at 7:48 PM

Stay home everyday and rest and reflect don't go back to teaching because it look like the more allyuh teach the more criminals we have in this country, so please stay home and leave people children alone.

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Parent said on Saturday, Nov 24 at 3:24 PM

So easy to blame the teachers for your children s failings,to day, the teachers are faced with unruly students, children who have never been taught good manners , who are spoiled and as they age remain ignorant like their parents, as to why no scholarships have been achieved in Tobago (if true ), it could be the fault of the parents as well as the education system , when a child enters school , the teachers are there to teach not be child minders, so I side with the teachers, in the old days a misbehaving student could be punished not so today , until the teachers hold the power, students will suffer, I do not advocate severe punishment ,but children must behave in a manner that is conducive to teaching and acceptable to the smooth running of the class

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peoplesay said on Saturday, Nov 24 at 1:23 AM

The teachers of yesteryaear that taught these now budding teachers, should cry shame on them they are getting a bigger salary than those of the old teachers.Parents have to buy expensive books for their children education and yet those teachers do not wantt to teach, Tobago have not won an Island scolarship in many years what is rally causing that? is it the backward method of teaching adopted, by our leaders, in the Education division here in Tobago.Few leave school with full certificate passes.The young teachers in the secondary schools, want the salary attached to the Job, but not the work. If you don't love to teach get out of teaching. The school day is long , but yet our children work is short. Reading in class is a thing of the past, why is that. some of you teachers are sending deliquent student out into the world who cannot read properly. Start to teach our children and stop resting every week. With that large salary buy a tonic.

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TEACHER said on Friday, Nov 23 at 3:37 PM

It is so sad that those teachers who are so eager to rest and reflect do the same in their classrooms everyday. No teaching is done

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Anonymous said on Friday, Nov 23 at 10:14 AM

You wonder why Teachers are requesting increase, all the extra work they are expected to do, plus ,at times risking their own safety , parents need to have more control over their irresponsible children, remember apple never falls far from the tree , good luck to the teachers of tobago

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NIKKI said on Thursday, Nov 22 at 11:41 PM

NOTHING HAPPENS FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD TEACHERS. SO WE WILL REST AND REFLECT TOO UNTIL OUR VOICES ARE HEARD

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