The T&T Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) has advised all school officials that if they have not yet been vaccinated, they should not risk their lives by going out to schools.
In an advisory to all education professionals dated May 11, TTUTA assured that it will defend their members against any attempt to bully or intimidate them into comprising their health and safety.
This relates to the proposal by the Education Ministry to offer the option of an exam deferral to students due to write the June 10 Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) exam to next year.
In acknowledging the offer by the MoE for parents who wish to defer the exam if they feel their child is not adequately prepared, TTUTA’s General Council said it is not new as, “The option of deferral has always been available to students in any given year.”
However, tGeneral Council expressed serious concerns, “about large numbers of deferrals which could arise in 2021, due to challenges which students have faced arising out of situations caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The General Council pointed out that increased numbers of deferrals for SEA 2021 would have a serious impact on the class sizes in the primary school; the availability of space in 2022 at secondary schools to accommodate both the deferred students and the Standard Five classes of that year; and the number of teachers required at the primary level to teach the larger cohort of students during the academic year 2021/2022.
They stressed that the maximum class size is around 30 pupils and as such, they have mandated that the principles to be established for a student to be allowed to defer the writing of the SEA in 2021 – be clearly enunciated to ensure that principals and teachers are protected from any liability.
Additionally, the General Council reaffirmed a previous decision that states, “That the examination should be postponed to no later than the first week in July 2021.”
They claimed, “This would allow for the government’s measures to curb the spread of the virus to really make a positive impact on our currently dangerous situation.”