INDARSINGH: Minister Gadsby-Dolly Denying Students of Couva West a Proper Education
Today, I am calling on the Minister of Education, Dr. the Honourable Nyan Gadsby- Dolly to stop neglecting the students, parents and teachers at the Couva West Secondary School.
From mouldy classrooms to leaking ceilings, infrastructural issues have affected teaching at the school since 2017.
Regrettably, after all this time, the school still remains uninhabitable to an unacceptably large degree.
At one point, all students were relegated to online learning. Regrettably, teachers are not legally mandated to teach online, as the terms of their employment refer to in-person classes. Online classes, as advised by the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA) are totally voluntary, and there is no guarantee that students have access to full coverage of the curriculum while relegated to online classes.
While we understand that classes have resumed for Forms 4 and 5, students in Forms 1-3 are still being denied physical classes by the Ministry of Education, which has left the teaching of online classes to the voluntary discretion of teachers.
The Minister must advise whether she is aware as to how many students have actually been able to access online classes as our information indicate that many students have not been able to, for one reason or the other. Students are slipping through the cracks, and the effects of such slippage are seen in terms of drop out figures, dependency on social support and in the extent of criminal activity.
Minister Gadsby-Dolly and her Ministry of Education have done a grave injustice to the students, teachers, and parents of Couva West Secondary by putting them all in a situation where the lack of physical classes is compromising students’ learning and teachers’ terms of employment.
The Minister is well aware of these issues, yet continues to operate in an aloof and unattentive manner, even as the issues at the school remain critical and unresolved years later.
I am calling on Minister Gadsby- Dolly to come to the Couva West Secondary School to meet with affected students, parents, teachers and other staff, and to immediately move towards implementing solutions.
Students cannot be denied their fundamental right to education because of this Government’s lacklustre, unstrategic and uncommitted approach to education and learning.
Member of Parliament for Couva South and SHADOW RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE MINISTRY OF LABOUR and TOBAGO AFFAIRS.