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But President: Union Yet To Receive Plan For Schools Reopening

BUT president Belinda Wilson.

BUT president Belinda Wilson.

By EARYEL BOWLEG

Tribune Staff Reporter

Ebowleg@tribunemedia.net

BAHAMAS Union of Teachers (BUT) Belinda Wilson said the union has yet to receive a plan or framework from the Ministry of Education for the reopening of schools.

According to Mrs Wilson, there was a meeting with the ministry on Monday and they promised to provide a plan for the reopening. The president candidly admitted at a Rotary meeting on Thursday that the lack of direction has had some affects.

“Well the relationship… it deteriorated when it was evident that the ministry had no written plan and to date as we speak we do not have a plan or a framework from the Ministry of Education for short, medium, and/or long term during COVID and after COVID,” she said.

The president identified communication as still a major problem as administrator, teachers, parents, and students await the plans for reopening in a COVID-19 environment. Mrs Wilson said that BUT’s expectations includes details given to stakeholders regarding health measures and the curriculum.

She added: “We will insist that there is clear, concise information shared to all stakeholders prior to the opening of 172 public schools on 27 islands and cays and the schools must be clean, sanitized and proper social distancing measures put in place.”

“And we need to know prior to school opening what are the policies for the use of technology, the student having cellphones, the way that teachers and students would operate in a technological school, the wearing of masks, how are we going to set the timetable, is the curriculum going to be amended, are we going to have the same school hours?”

Mrs Wilson recalled that on Sunday, March 15, BUT and union leaders were informed in a meeting that the Bahamas had its first COVID-19 case . At this time once they had a meeting with the minister, a request for the Ministry of Education to provide a plan for the union to outline a framework and the continuation for providing education.

However, she highlighted that the challenge teachers and students had was they were left on their own to decide how teaching and learning would happen.

“There was little consistency with the lessons because the lessons that were taught not following the curriculum or the syllables and the platform that teachers were using proved very challenging because a lot of them ran out of data, the WiFi, the internet connection was going in and out……and they did not have a way to test what their students had learnt,” she said.

Comments

hrysippus 3 weeks, 4 days ago

Belinda Wilson was only a teacher of Physical Education during her career which I do not think even has exams so I doubt that she would have much sage advice to offer even if the MOE had consulted her.

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ohdrap4 3 weeks, 4 days ago

even if the MOE had consulted her.

She however, would actually consult her membership. The MOE is where the incompetent or insane teachers go to die, or those who get those useless DEd. degrees. They can never produce a single original ideas for themselves, and could care less to listen to those who experienced the challenges of online teaching and what could be done to improve it.

PS. PE DOES HAVE EXAMS, I COULD PASS THOSE, BUT COULD NEVER THROW A BALL!!!

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proudloudandfnm 3 weeks, 4 days ago

Really? I never had one when I was in school. Genuinely curious by the way not being argumentative. Are they a normal occurance or like every now and then? What kind of questions? I got out in the early 80s we were on the British system back then...

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ohdrap4 3 weeks, 4 days ago

Just google PE written tests or exams and you will find them.

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moncurcool 3 weeks, 4 days ago

However, she highlighted that the challenge teachers and students had was they were left on their own to decide how teaching and learning would happen.

“There was little consistency with the lessons because the lessons that were taught not following the curriculum or the syllables and the platform that teachers were using proved very challenging because a lot of them ran out of data, the WiFi, the internet connection was going in and out……and they did not have a way to test what their students had learnt,” she said.***

So teachers need to be told to continue teaching the curriculum? Maybe the problem of the D average is the students are being tested on material not being instructed by the teachers.

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ohdrap4 3 weeks, 4 days ago

It was the MOE that broadcast on tv things that were not aligned to the curriculum.
The MOE also contracted some jamaicans to use their LMS with lessons not aligned to the curriculum.

The teachers had no menas to test those who only had access to the tv lessons.

The issues are not clear cut.

But it is easy to make teachers scape goats.

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moncurcool 3 weeks, 4 days ago

Again, do teachers have to be told to continue to teach the curriculum? Does someone have to hold your hand and tell you to continue to do your lesson plan and teach what is in the curriculum?

If so then no need for you to be a teacher is there?

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ohdrap4 3 weeks, 4 days ago

No. But it looks like the MOE has to be told.

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sheeprunner12 3 weeks, 4 days ago

Seeing that Wilson and the Union have lost the battle over external exams ....... they now turn their attention to the re-opening of schools ............ BUT is still without a CBA (working contract) and no chance in hell of getting a new one right now.

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DDK 3 weeks, 4 days ago

If the standard of education does not improve drastically, which is HIGHLY unlikely, leave the schools closed. Don't know what the children would do all day but they certainly do not learn to become productive citizens as a rule.

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bogart 3 weeks, 3 days ago

172 Public Schools on 27 Islands a d Cays being funded by the big part of Taxpayers funding. 172 Schools with hundreds of highly educated well versed in many versed areas being led by the Union headed by Union leader which ensured regular Govt Salaries.

The Union is a pathetic excuse for not coming up with solutions with each islands and cays solution. The Union waiting for the Govt Ministry in Nassau to receive a plan is terrible at this critical time for forward action.

The teachers and Salaried personnel on 172 Public Schools on each 27 islands and cays should be in the forefront of plans forward instead of the seems sole experience and expertise of Union of watching the mold grow on walls of Nassau Schools and then get their photos in newspapers striking.

Likely solutions needs to come from down up giving proactive ideas from 172 public Schools on 27 islands and cays instead of Union leadership waiting waiting waiting on top down initiated solutions.

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