TTUTA Tobago: Better attention to education required

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

TTUTA Tobago officer Bradon Roberts. File photo/David Reid

TTUTA Tobago officer Bradon Roberts is concerned about the care and attention given to education in the country.

Roberts told Newsday on Wednesday that he isn’t satisfied that the sector is getting the required attention.

“It’s not just a Tobago thing, it is nationally. We treat education as if we wake up a morning and realise there are some problems and we’re looking for a quick fix to the problem.

“We need to have some sustainable things implemented to work towards a better quality of education, not just on the island but in the nation, and we’re seeing the effects of it in our society. We have to do better as a society as it relates to education, I don’t think they’re giving education the priority.”

Schools reopened nationally on Tuesday for term two of the academic year.

In Tobago, all except the Scarborough Secondary School reopened after the THA Division of Education, Research and Technology announced on Saturday that the school will remain closed until January 9 to facilitate repairs. Last September, the school had to remain closed for an additional week because of incomplete works.

Roberts said there are other schools with problems but they weren’t big enough to force a closure.

“St Andrew’s Anglican – they have a prevailing mould situation in the staff toilet. We’re having a wipe down and paint – that would not stop the problem, it would periodically keep the mould from resurfacing but it’s back there again.

“Some of the other schools, well, the division would have done their part in doing as much as they could have done to have schools ready for open. The bad weather that we would have had did some damage to the Speyside (Secondary) school and one or two of the primary schools, but the division would have done some work in that regard.”

Roberts said he attended the meeting last Friday to discuss the Scarborough Secondary situation.

“Unfortunately, the plan for the repairs to Scarborough Secondary School I’ll say wasn’t well thought out. The works being done, I would have never attempted that during a December break – that is a July/August investment. But because of the gaping holes, they probably didn’t want further damage…It didn’t start on time and we’re in this predicament.”

He said the best-case scenario was to get the sixth-form students back out.

“We would have liked to get the fifth form out because the teachers would be struggling to complete the curriculum (with) every delay, so it’s not just the students are affected, all stakeholders would be affected by the non-opening.”