CTUSAB RECOMMENDS EARLIER TERM’S LEAVE FOR TEACHERS TO AVOID FATIGUE
By Jenique Belgrave
Teachers must once again be allowed a term’s leave after five years’ of service.
General Secretary of the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados Dennis DePeiza made this clear on Friday as he insisted that educators have to be protected from the very real threat of burnout.
Saying some believed that the three school breaks per year provided enough time for teachers to rest, he suggested that for many of those days, they are still occupied with work.
“When schools are on recess, teachers are at seminars, summer school, preparation meetings and they get burnout. They were supposed to be given a term’s leave after every five years and someone determined that this should be moved to 15 years. I think there needs to be a rethink and teachers should be given a term’s leave after five years,” he said, noting that such a job needed to be incentivised to draw a higher level of interest.
Speaking to the media at the Barbados Union of Teachers’ Merryhill headquarters on Friday, he also expressed concerns over the number of school disruptions being experienced in recent times due to environmental issues and instances of violence.
“When we see disruption that is continuous like this it says something about how we are managing the system…As soon as something happens, somebody pops up, makes a statement and then disappears, but there seems to be no direction coming from the Ministry of Education, none whatsoever to deal with these ongoing issues,” he charged.
Depeiza noted that such stoppages have an impact on the island’s productivity and he suggested that a broad discussion with all stakeholders is necessary if issues affecting the education sector are to be addressed.
“We need to get something done where we engage all stakeholders because this disruption is having an impact on the country’s economic development. You may say only the schools are closed but when the schools are closed, parents have to go for children all during the day, they lose income and some jobs may be on the line because they are not at work.
“There are other social factors that are affected as people who have a little money are spending it on someone to keep their children and on meals as the children are, in some cases, missing out on the school lunches provided.
“We have to look at this broadly and find out what are the problems right across the system, have some serious discussions and look for solutions,” Depeiza added.