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Changes in the Education System (Trinidad & Tobago)

It was interesting to hear the Minister of Education speak about schools needing written approval by the Ministry to have extra curricula activities during school hours and that in one school, there were about 26 half days of school in a month, thereby reducing the number of hours that students were in the classroom.

Although I commend the Minister for his statements and his attempt at remedying this problem, I do hope that he will be addressing the issue of absentee teachers with the same enthusiasm.

Students have been complaining for too long about absent teachers and it is really time for the Ministry to deal with this ever increasing problem. What steps/incentives are being taken to encourage citizens to become teachers in our current school system?

Therefore, my question is: When the extra curricula activities are stopped and the students are now full time in the classroom, will teachers be motivated to turn up for work?

I was hoping that the cost of extra lessons would be significantly reduced after the primary school stage, but it now seems that I will still have to continue to pay someone to teach my son, the school work that is supposed to be taught by school teachers or I can make huge sacrifices and send my son to a paying school ie British Academy, International School or Maple Leaf, to ensure that he gets the education required to move onto University.

I am a product of a paying secondary school (Bishop Centenary College - the early days when Ms. Stanford was the English teacher. She always complained that hearing bad English spoken always hurt her ears) and my parents really sacrificed for my sister and I to attend the school. Look how I turned out.

If the absentee teachers issue is not addressed in a satisfactory manner, then I will be left with no choice but to look at the alternatives because it makes no sense sending my son to school with absentee teachers.

Trinidad & Tobago Forum