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SVGTU head – teachers should boycott marking SBAs unless demands are met

SVGTU head – teachers should boycott marking SBAs unless demands are met


With teachers in Barbados refusing to mark school based assessments (SBAs) unless they are compensated by the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC), could a similar course of action be seen here in St Vincent and the Grenadines?

Speaking to SEARCHLIGHT yesterday, president of the SVG Teachers’ Union Oswald {{more}}Robinson said that it is a possibility.

“I think that is the way we should go, but we are so divided here — everything is a political issue!”

In the April 3, 2015 edition of the Weekend Nation (Barbados), head of the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) Mary Redman insisted that SBAs are the property of the CXC, and therefore, the onus should be on that body to mark them — not teachers.

Robinson said that he is in agreement with the BSTU and teachers’ unions around the region on CXC paying teachers to mark students’ SBAs. At a Caribbean Union of Teachers (CUT) executive meeting that took place in Belize last year November, it was decided that if the CXC does not comply with this demand by February 28, 2015, then teachers throughout the region would contemplate “unified action”.

“I think we should be in solidarity with ourselves,” he insisted. “It’s additional work, and we are not being compensated… CXC is an external exam. The marks for those exams are not being used for internal purposes.”

Robinson explained that up to 14 “instructional hours” are being lost per teacher in marking SBAs, and that although CXC is accustomed to paying individuals to moderate and mark the CSEC exams, they are now “placing the burden on teachers.”

“The CARICOM governments told CXC that it is part of the job description of teachers to mark SBAs, but that is not so!” he protested.

Robinson also said that the head of the BSTU called into a radio programme on NBC Radio last week that was hosted by the SVGTU, appealing for regional support on the matter.

“The Bajans have been outspoken [for] a long time, indicating what they would do,” he explained.

A release from the SVGTU last month stated that although the CUT recognizes the importance and value of SBAs, it is convinced that “the demands on teachers involved in the formulation, supervision, correction and data entry requirements of these SBAs are deserving of compensation above and beyond what is offered to them.”(JSV)