GTU parts company with TSC over teacher interviews
The Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) has withdrawn its support and signature from the interviewing process being conducted by the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) which is processing senior teachers.
The GTU is of the view that the interviews being conducted by members from the TSC are biased. It has since requested from the TSC that members of the GTU and the Education Ministry be part of the team that scores the points during the interview. According to president of the union, Colwyn King, the TSC has bluntly refused to do so.
King explained that, although some of the interviews were good, the way they were conducted left much to be desired, as over the years a number of infringements were committed against persons for various reasons. He added that the interviews were very subjective.
“I don’t want to belittle those from the TSC, but there are some of that age that don’t permit them to perform the way they ought to. Some memories, some movement and age sometimes carry with it some infringement,” King said.
It was noted that when the GTU put forward its request to have other members be part of the scoring team the TSC said that no interviews would be done if that is the case.
Based on this, GTU has withdrawn its support for the interviews, and recognises that if the union does this, the subjectivity of the interviews would maintain.
“I don’t understand that in a modern education system and in a place where democracy and openness prevail… these are the things that exist… and we don’t want to support things that would infringe the education system and stand inhibiting where progress lies.”
King added that it is not the role or responsibility of the TSC to be the sole members to score the points. He explained that during a meeting, which was held last Monday between the TSC, GTU and the Minister of Education, all these points were made, but the Minister sided with the TSC.
According to the union president, the GTU and the Ministry of Education have a professional body, where the GTU and the Ministry create the policies and set the criteria for appointment of head-teachers, deputy head-teachers and heads of department, while the TSC is responsible of securing those policies.
However, now the situation has changed, the TSC wants to create its own policies. He added that in 2006 it was said that no teacher should be in a classroom if he or she is not trained, but this never materialised, due to the extent of teacher migration in the country. It was also found that Region Two was not sending any teachers to the University of Guyana. Those who wanted to attend UG had to leave their jobs.
The criteria then stated that teachers of grade A and B schools must be graduates, but the TSC is pushing for a one off, where this year the Commission wants to lower the standards to accommodate those teachers in Region Two. The GTU does not agree with this.
“The GTU has stood strong that the rules are the rules and should not be tampered with, and in tampering with the rules we would be lowering educational standards.”