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Teachers Union marches on City

Teachers Union marches on City

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Teargas Day may have been the turning point of the union’s history, but many teachers, especially the younger ones, don’t get the point.{{more}}

This was evident by the poor turn out at last Wednesday’s march and rally to commemorate a very dark day in the union’s history, when during a peaceful protest march; they were attacked and tear-gassed by police 32 years ago.

However, the 150 or so that turned out were in full voice, as they marched through the streets of Kingstown.

“It was fairly ok, but more teachers needed to show solidarity,” Teachers’ Union President Joy Matthews told SEARCHLIGHT after the rally, which was held at Heritage Square.

She said that the young teachers probably don’t fully comprehend the work done by the brother and sister teachers, who were subjected to that abuse back then; fighting for the rights of teachers.

When she addressed the rally, Matthews said that the march, though stopped violently and abruptly 32 years ago, “ignited the flames in our organization that makes us today a force to be reckoned with.”

“We march today because we want the general public to be aware of the Herculean task we have to shape this nation of ours,” Matthews said.

Meanwhile, the feature speaker, Simeon Greene, himself one of the teachers attacked and arrested on that dreadful Friday, said that while the union has come a long way, it must not lose its soul.

The soul of the union, Greene said, is the children, and he voiced deep concern about their development.

“We are losing our children, therefore we are losing our soul,” Greene said.

He called on teachers to be role models in schools, and challenged them, and the society at large to have more discussions about children’s education and overall development.

The march and rally was part of the weeklong Teachers Solidarity Week, which should cumulate this Saturday (17th) with a social at Mt Wynne. (KJ)

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