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Community Voice: Endangered Species

Community 29 Jun, 2020 Follow News

Community Voice: Endangered Species

From the moment the country had to be in lockdown mode I was certain that there was one group of workers who would have it the worst - OUR TEACHERS. As this whole process sauntered along it become even more evident that our teachers would be both distressed and stressed. My spouse works in the system and first-hand knowledge of what is happening is scary.

Up from as early as 7 in the morning which is not the regularly scheduled working time until at many times late into the night, our family life and marriage is severely distressed. Platforms for teaching have been changing like crazy. Teachers were not given time to acquaint themselves with these before progressing to do online tutoring. Many times they could not get their shopping done because they had to be home to catch up with students who were absent.

By the time teachers and students became acquainted with one system they had to abandon it and transfer to another, and then another, and then another. All students MUST be present. If they are not then teachers have to tach while at the same time be calling around to find out the reason for the absentees. Then they had to take a manual roll call.

In all of this students info has to be updated, be tracked for whatever. Lessons have to be planned and, assignments must be given and marked. New software has to be taught to students. While doing these, many teachers have to be attending to their own kids. I have watched my spouse with great concern. I cannot get time with her until way into the night. Time with our child is also reduced. I have witnessed the regular crashing of video sessions due to internet problems. And no one in the ministry seems concerned about the health, the mental health of our teachers. I am beginning to think that we are slowly becoming an autocracy. This is no one’s fault and indeed these are not normal times. It seems to me that they approach to our teachers is akin to this being their fault. I have checked with my children who are working in different entities and they are not subject to this uncaring approach. Do you know of anyone in the private sector unless they have to, retire to bed around 10 or 11 in the night, in the current situation. Teachers are frustrated as is evident with my spouse. Had it not been for our relationship and trust in Jesus Christ I shudder to think what would be the situation. They were told recently that they have to come up with a 2 year contingency plan for any future occurrence. So, what are the policy advisers and planners being paid for? What are they doing in this abnormal time? On top of this they have to go out to school shortly to pack up for the hurricane season. Are you kidding me? This is absolute madness if you ask me! To crown this off, there is talk of summer school. Who can be so short-sighted and heartless?

We are always quick to criticize our teachers, but before you do ask when was the last time you stayed up 10 or 11 at night to work. If you read this please thank your teacher. I need my family back. Summer break is their moment in time.

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