Teachers volunteer to do temperature checks
OSWALD ROBINSON, president of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers Union (SVGTU) said on Monday that while it is not the responsibility of teachers to do temperature checks, teachers have volunteered and that is their choice.
Last week, Robinson told the media that the SVGTU will take legal action if teachers are forced to administer temperature checks to students when schools reopen.
However, yesterday, Robinson, standing outside the Kingstown Preparatory School (KPS) said there is nothing the union can do about teachers who volunteer to do the checks, but reiterated that it is not mandatory that teachers do so.
“Some people making it a trivial issue to say: ‘well you should not be trained’, but the Ministry of Health was saying they would be trained.
He said the suggestion by the Ministry of Health that parents do temperature checks at home, makes sense as empowering parents to test temperatures at home is better than coming to school and finding out there is a problem.
“I like what the chief education officer would have said in her presentation, each school should work out what should happen, because the ideal would have been to contextualize your operation of the school in the sense that large schools you may need to observe social distancing…the smaller schools they may be able to go back as normal, but the larger schools where you have limited space it was expected that a blended approach would have taken place similar to what happened in Barbados,” Robinson said.
When schools resume in Barbados on September 21 following the COVID-19 shutdown, it’s being proposed that students in nursery up to Infants B attend classes for half-day, while older primary and secondary pupils will have a mixture of face-to-face and online classes.
Robinson said the union is looking forward to the distribution of the digital devices promised by the Government as digital learning has to be part of the new thrust.
“We are living in the digital age and it is important that we teach virtually as the need arises. The situation as it stands, it seems to be working, but we need to keep monitoring as there are still some mixed signals from the level of the ministry of health and the ministry of education,” Robinson told SEARCHLIGHT.
He added, “there are still mixed signals and we will continue to monitor the situation so that we get the best outcome because at the end of the day, it is the students who are impacted positively or negatively and our aim is to see that teachers continue to perform their duties and that the students will learn and realize their maximum potential.”