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Teachers cannot be held totally accountable for students’ performance – SVGTU

Teachers cannot be held totally accountable for students’ performance – SVGTU

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According to the president of the SVG Teachers’ Union, the statistics provided by the OECS Education Digest 2012/13 comparing educational input and output are “limited”.
 
Speaking to SEARCHLIGHT on Tuesday, {{more}}March 3, Oswald Robinson said that when student outcomes are low, as the digest indicates, many tend to blame the nation’s teachers.

“You cannot hold the teachers 100 per cent accountable for the performance of students,” he asserted. “Teachers are not the only actors – you also have the parents.”

Robinson said that parental involvement needs to be looked at more closely in terms of repetition and drop out rates, and the quantity and quality of passes – as well as the support that teachers receive from the Curriculum Development Unit.

“They quote all these figures and how much money they are spending, but how much money is being spent on resources? Are the resources coming to the school on time or are they coming at the middle of the term?”

Referring to the digest indicating that SVG has the second highest percentage of trained teachers in the sub-region, Robinson pointed out teacher morale is not taken into account in these statistics.

“You have teachers coming into the system and they are trained and have paid large sums of money for their training, but you [are] not appointing them – and you expect them to perform to the maximum!”

He acknowledged that Vincentian teachers are among the best paid within the OECS member countries, but said that it is more important to look at the net income.

“What about the cost of living in the other countries compared to us?” he questioned. “It’s not a fair comparison…”

Robinson also asserted that the school environment is a “microcosm” of the greater society; so what happens externally will inevitably impact the outcomes of schools.

“All stakeholders have a role to play.”

Although he was confident that the majority of teachers in SVG are performing, he conceded that there are a few who are “not up to standard”.

“There is room for improvement but we have to make sure the mechanisms are in place… before you talk about teacher productivity.”(JSV)

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