Latest update March 24th, 2023 12:59 AM
Jun 28, 2016 Letters
I note with worry and also much anger the replies of GTU President Mark Lyte and one George Cave in the print media recently regarding my letters in the press which highlighted the high court actions against dozens of teachers in the High Court especially as it relates to my own preliminary promotion to Head of the English Department.
I echo the call of Cave by asking the question, “What is the Education Service coming to?” Indeed, the system has become dysfunctional as can be over the years; don’t you think, Mr Cave and Mr Lyte?
To have me, a teacher trained in English to have to resort to do Social Studies at the University in Berbice instead of what I had loved doing, English…but because there was no English being offered there…what is the education service coming to? A teacher ‘wasting’ 4 years of his life studying for a degree in an area in which he knew might have very well had no scope in his professional career at his school in the years that followed, but still followed through because he had education and teaching at his heart and wanted to upgrade his qualifications and professional skills?
What is the system coming to? A teacher who was achieved a Grade One with Distinction in the subject area in question and was trained in English at the Teachers Training College of the Ministry of Education, only to which none of those merited him being considered for a subject- related ( as well as administrative) position at a secondary school? Why then do we have a training college allowing people to specialize in special subject areas if not to equip them with a base to “organize the teaching of that specialist subject…..?” What is the education service coming to Mr Cave and Mr Lyte? A system in which both of you had opportunities to fix or relate your displeasure in years past!
What is the education service coming to when you had a trained English teacher having completed a Ministry of Education course in ENGLISH lasting a duration of two years but doesn’t seem to bear any weighting to the current promotion guidelines Cave alluded? What is the education service coming to when you have a teacher completing an Education Management Course which is supposed to create scope for administration and management in ANY supervisory position but not even catered for in the TSC guidelines that Cave checked through?
What is the system coming to when the teacher’s application last year for promotion was not his first rather third or so, but was refused year after year? Mr Cave is questioning why my HM or Regional Educational Officer did not put remarks on my application so as to have dissuaded my preliminary appointment as English HOD at Vrymans High. I would not question their comments but have this to say: those are people on the ground and in the fields to see what’s happening in education and how someone could function…they are the persons who really can tell and know if someone is truly capable of a job, because they have seen that person at work and would have had first hand knowledge of someone’s capability for a job—- not the ones in their high offices in Georgetown, Mr Cave!
It’s a shame and disgrace that my “ineligibility” for heading an English Department at any Secondary School is coming in for lashes from the GTU head and this retired educator ( I presume) when the university has not even produced many persons with a Degree in English ( no fault of my own!) but which has recently begun to do so with fresh trainees out of CPCE and who would graduate in about two years and would very well be eligible much to the pleasure, I believe, of Cave and Lyte— and would most likely be selected for the position over a teacher who was trained years before, graduated years before from University and had more administrative and curriculum- based experience in the area of question! Indeed, what is our education service coming to Mr Cave?! I pray I might not be in the system by then to witness the furtherance of these career- related injustices.
What is our education service to coming when we have a teacher finishing off his Master of Education Degree— in education administration of all areas— something he knew would clearly have no bearing or eligibility for the post of Head of Department which he applied for, but still went ahead knowing he would still gain vital skills to use in his career, right Mr Cave? How sadder that the teacher has been acting HOD English for nearly 3 years and acted HOD again in another subject area for a number of years.
My fate already seems sealed Mr Lyte and Mr Cave— stagnated promotion, deliberate stagnation and indirect dysfunctionality from a system that ill- equips its servicemen and women for their professional careers; a system that creates square pegs in round holes; a system which makes me so angry regarding archaic guidelines which Cave mentioned in his missive for hiring HODs needing to have a degree in the subject area); a system which I believe must have its planners come together, meet with its stakeholders and go back to the drawing board; a system where the training college, university, Ministry of Education, teachers’ union and the body for hiring and promoting teachers need to come together, talk and spend time with each other and agree on the way forward that benefits all! Any progressive-thinking education system seeing the need for cross-specialist curriculum reach might have recommended ways to teachers to ensure they are equipped in the area of their teacher-training at the University even well after they completed a degree in another area. The university needs to educate its applicants better also.
In the end, persons who are both COMPETENT and EXPERIENCED should merit their respective promotions. Finally, I believe Heads of Departments are are curriculum based positions but they are equally administrative- intensive positions too, and strongly urge a timely review to the relevant guidelines. What is your definition of eligibility Mr Cave? Maybe your ‘traditional’ way of thinking of recruiting an HOD needs urgent review because education has changed and continues to change. Persons also require administrative skills to head a department which is by and large a school within a school.
Maybe Mr Cave should use his influence to review the hiring of so many young and just- out-of-school teachers in the system,many of whom cannot function effectively in front of a classroom and who cause the system to suffer further. So I could care less about your ‘eligibility criteria’ Mr Cave…. many have the best Degrees in sparkling subject areas and yet cannot function properly, rather perform POORLY! The facts are pointed out here; I would not blame the officials who approved my application in its early stages. They acted in the best of their judgment and abilities. And I, like many other of my colleagues in education who sought promotion last year did the same. Many of us denied promotion for years and who are deeply hurt by the outcome; many of us who have become victims of an “education service” that Mr Cave himself criticized.
It’s sad too that Mr Lyte went on a tirade against me in his reply to me in the press about my promotion but skimmed through and conveniently omitted the parts of my letter which bemoaned the denial of my Whitley Council emolument and also the evident delay of payments of the debunching money.
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Lies, Lies, Lies!!!
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Mr Suseran, I am in sympathy with you. You must be complimented for wanting to improve yourself but every decision we make has consequences. Please do not blame the education system. You had the freedom of choice and the choice you made is now hurting you. If you must move on then you must apply for an SM or HOD Social Studies. In your other two issues you are correct. Over the years, when teachers lodge complaints, the executive of GTU just try to hush you up. I had my fair share of this. My advice to you is to continue giving your best service and keep your frustrations out of the Classroom. Give your students the best you can give them. Some one will recognize you. This was what I did and it paid rich dividends.