THE EDITOR: If the statement “education is everybody’s business” is to be more than simply a cliche, genuine and responsible stakeholder collaboration is required to improve the sector for the benefit of all our children.
I watched three of the main stakeholders appear before a recent joint select committee (JSC) — the Ministry of Education, TT Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA) and the National Parent-Teacher Association (NPTA).
All parties agreed there is need for greater collaboration.
However, TTUTA president Lynsley Doodhai chose to express no confidence in the initiatives of the ministry, especially its efforts to improve school discipline.
He disputed the ministry’s position that there has been a decrease in the number of violent incidents in schools.
However, asked by the JSC chairman for evidence or data, he had none to support his statements.
TTUTA is a critical stakeholder in education and its leader must be more responsible and recognise the level of support and collaboration required from his association to better the education sector.
What I find most irresponsible is that both TTUTA and NPTA officials appeared on separate television stations the following day to publicly criticise each other over a statement concerning a dress code, each accusing the other of failing to meet to discuss a simple matter and find common ground.
The TTUTA official even used the opportunity to joke over the ministry’s decision to put a temporary hold on serving coffee at meetings as part of cost-cutting measures.
Traditionally, the responsibility for educating our children has been placed squarely on the shoulders of the Government. It’s time citizens recognise that the business of educating children effectively cannot be adequately addressed by the services provided solely by the Government. There must be widespread involvement from all stakeholders at various levels.
MARTIN DOUGLAS ,D’Abadie
Source: Newsday http://newsday.co.tt/2018/02/13/education-not-only-govts-duty/