Teachers who refuse to mark School Based Assessments (SBAs) could face disciplinary action, the Ministry of Education today warned.
In a strong statement, the Ministry said “failure on the part of the teacher to submit final marks for students’ SBAs would amount to “a dereliction of duty”, as it described the stance taken by the Barbados Secondary Teachers Union (BSTU) and the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) as “unreasonable”.
The Ministry also cautioned that such a move would have serious ramifications for students taking the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) with an SBA component.
“Students will be disadvantaged in their pursuit of higher education at universities and other tertiary institutions or entry into the sixth form because they will not be awarded a grade for a CSEC or CAPE subject without the marked SBA submitted by the teacher,” the statement said.
The BSTU has been demanding compensation from the regional examining body, the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC), arguing that SBAs are an additional responsibility and the accompanying workload was above and beyond the normal duties of teachers preparing students for their final examinations.
However, the Ministry of Education is contending that SBAs, which represent between 15 to 40 per cent of the final grade, forms part of the teaching and assessment duties, characteristic of the teaching profession.
“The SBA is part of a course of study taught by the teacher and it is indeed the teacher’s duty to guide and mark the SBA submitted by the student,” the ministry said, noting that “during the course of study for the subject, candidates are awarded marks by their teachers for specified knowledge, skills and attitudes they demonstrate in completing their SBA assignments.
“These marks contribute to the final marks and grades that are awarded to candidates for their performance in the examination.”
Warning that Barbados was not exempt from the rules, which stipulate that students must submit SBAs within the year of the examination, the Ministry pointed out that “Procedure 13.4.3 (page 36) states that: Candidates will be reported “ungraded: no IA/SBA received” if the required IA/SBA was not submitted by the presenting institution on their behalf.
“The Ministry has called for good sense to prevail and urged teachers to continue to perform duties assigned to them as part of their contract of employment.”