Should schools be closed to allow teachers to attend union meetings?
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Dear Editor,
AT midday on Monday, 5/12/16, I noticed with much surprise that all the schools in the Corriverton area, where I live, were being closed for the day. Upon inquiring, I was told that the schools were being closed to allow teachers to attend a Guyana Teachers Union meeting. Assuming that what I was told is correct (and I have no reason to doubt it), as a very concerned citizen, I am forced to question the wisdom and propriety of such a (mal)practice occurring at a time when our schools are performing so badly, as can be gleaned from the national examinations results, especially in Maths and English.
I am by no means anti-union; indeed, as a high school teacher in New Amsterdam, I used to be the secretary of the Berbice Branch of what was then known as the AMM (Association of Masters and Mistresses), the equivalent of a union for high school teachers; but we used to keep our meetings in the afternoons or at the weekends. I am firmly of the view that neither should the students suffer nor should parents be inconvenienced, in order to facilitate a union meeting which can just as easily be held in the afternoon after the normal closure of schools, or at weekends or during school holidays (the Xmas break is just around the corner!).
I plead with our dear teachers and the GTU to kindly reconsider this modus operandi with a view to neither robbing the poor students of valuable classroom work, nor imposing inconvenience on hardworking parents.
Regards,
NOWRANG PERSAUD

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