Teachers Union calls for key changes before school reopens

By Demion McTair. Updated 12:07 p.m., Tuesday, August 18, 2020, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).

Kingstown, St. Vincent (ONE NEWS SVG) – The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers’ Union (SVGTU), has called on the government to ensure key recommendations are implemented before the reopening of schools on August 31, 2020.

In a press conference today (August 18), president of the SVGTU, Mr. Oswald Robinson says the union met with the Ministry of Education last Friday and articulated its position.

He says that after the Education Advisory Board conducted an island-wide school inspection and an online and face-to-face survey, stakeholders across the education sector made the recommendations.

The recommendations from the eighteen (18) independent organizations which are members of the board, including SVGTU, were that there must be reliable access to the internet at schools, the need for compatible devices for both teachers and students, and sanitization of transportation dedicated to transporting teachers and students.

He says that if possible, temperature checks should be conducted before students enter buses to come to school.

Some of the other recommendations include that there be a dedicated sickbay area at every school, an area that is not the principal’s office. He also says that temperature checks at schools must not be conducted by teachers, but instead, the ministry must hire personnel to be responsible for conducting those tests on a daily basis.

The president also charged the internet providers in the country “to do the right thing”, telling them they have an obligation to ensure we have reliable internet at our educational institutions for students and teachers, and at the homes of all students.

On the matter of face masks, he says the provision of face masks is the responsibility of the employer. He says the ministry has already indicated that they have face masks available.

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