Education Ministry: TTUTA article is unfortunate

In Trinidad and Tobago we enjoy free speech. It is a fundamental right afforded to all, but we must however, as citizens, be cognizant of the information we share and where it is being shared.

Th Ministry of Education takes note of an article attributed to the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA) in the Newsday newspaper on Tuesday 9th April, 2019  titled ‘SEA over!’ as part of its ‘TTUTA Tuesday’ series. In this article the Association goes through the process of critiquing and condemning not only the Secondary Entrance Assessment(SEA) but the education system here in Trinidad and Tobago as a whole. The Ministry of Education has ensured that at each stage of decision making, where possible, TUTTA is a part of the process to ensure that its views are appropriately represented. As such, it was not only unfortunate on the part of the Association to write an article of this nature, but begged the question, what are the solutions that are being offered?

The Ministry of Education has maintained stakeholder relationships that have allowed all of our critical stakeholders to be a part of the process for any changes that are made. TTUTA has been a part of the series of consultations held on education, focus groups in preparation for proposed changes and is a part of the decision making where teachers were concerned in their preparation for teaching students on any area of change in the curriculum. If there are areas of concern to TTUTA that can be improved the Ministry of Education welcomes the suggestions that the Association wishes to put forward. The Ministry cautions the Association however, that with a significant level of public following and trust, statements made must reflect the best interests of the citizenry of this country.

 To state that “Teachers too, taking their mandate from wider society, pander to the uninformed perceptions of the nature and purpose of education held by the wider society and unwittingly contribute to the state of societal dysfunction through this miseducation.” leaves members of the public to question the ability of teachers to effectively contribute to the society that we desire, when at the Ministry, there is full confidence in the persons charged with the responsibility of imparting knowledge to our most impressionable minds. As the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association continues to work to fulfill its mandate and represent teachers across our country, the Ministry reminds that the ultimate synergized goal, is the best possible education system for students and teachers to enjoy. Let the work toward solutions be the objective even as criticism and critique are offered.  

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