Government is set to address issues related to the Common Entrance Examination when senior ministry officials meet tomorrow with teachers’ representatives.
President of the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) Mary Redman has said the dates and structure of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) tests and the Barbados Secondary Schools Entrance Exam are among topics on the agenda.
Redman told Barbados TODAY the union’s leadership met last Friday with the Chief Education Officer Joy Adamson after the BSTU wrote her calling for an urgent meeting to discuss a number of concerns surrounding the administration of the new online school term.
“That meeting was a listening meeting. She listened to our concerns,” Redman said, adding that the follow-up meeting tomorrow will try to address four major areas of concern for the teachers.
“The Ministry of Education is to address an end of term date, synchronous and asynchronous teaching, the mandated three-hour minimum of synchronous teaching and dates and structure of CXC and the BSSEE,” she disclosed.
The BSTU and the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) have taken exception to a list of new expectations issued by Adamson in a letter dated May 3, 2020, the day before the online classes started.
Both unions have said they are unhappy with the tone and content of the letter and have identified similar areas of contention.
But the BSTU went even further and put its concerns in writing to the Chief Education Officer .
Among the 29 sets of expectations listed by the senior ministry official, the union is particularly worried about five of them which Redman described in her letter as a “betrayal” considering what was agreed to during an April 1 consultation.
One area of concern related to the provision of computer equipment.
“The directive that teachers should have laptops bears no relation to the fact that many of them still do not and have yet to be provided with any. We discussed and you agreed, as did BAPPSS [the association representing public secondary school principals], that teaching would consist of both synchronous and asynchronous classes, and that neither type, for a variety of pertinent and sensitive reasons, should be mandated,” the BSTU leader said in her correspondence.
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