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Strike caused no disruption, says Ministry of Education

Strike caused no disruption, says Ministry of Education


Despite the calls for strike action issued by the heads of the SVG Teachers’ Union (SVGTU) and the Public Service Union, the Ministry of Education is insisting that the nation’s school system operated as normal.

At the close of Tuesday, October 13 — the day of the scheduled industrial action — the chief education officer Lou-Anne Gilchrist issued a statement which asserted {{more}}that the SVGTU’s actions were “unable to cause disruptions.”

“Our data on teacher attendance indicate that more than eighty per cent of teachers were on duty. The absences can be attributed, naturally, to a variety of reasons, including illness and teachers having medical or other appointments,” the release stated.

“Please note that this makes no statement on the average daily attendance of teachers by school.”

Gilchrist also noted in the release that student attendance was below the daily average in “very few schools,” and said that the Ministry of Education had not declared a half day in schools.

“This phenomenon can be attributed to a variety of reasons, which may include the uncertainty which might have been created in the minds of parents who thought that teacher attendance might not have been able to support their children’s comfort at school.”

She also thanked teachers for their cooperation as “we all forge ahead to build the nation.”

Additionally, in communicating with SEARCHLIGHT, Gilchrist expressed her concern at the assertion by the president of the SVGTU Oswald Robinson that the strike last Tuesday had forced the Ministry to cancel a principals’ meeting scheduled for that day.

“That is not true. We postponed the meeting of heads of primary schools to allow heads to remain at school… to monitor and supervise their students,” she affirmed.

“The Ministry of Education always plans and operates in the interest of students and teachers. We are not rash or misguided in our approach to leadership, and take our responsibilities seriously.” (JSV)