Without warning, Covid-19 forced its way into our society, causing the immediate closure of schools. With two weeks to go, some schools and some teachers in some schools adapted quickly in some form or the other. During this haze, the Archbishop stepped forward and organised for Catholic schools to open virtually for the third term.

There was some resistance to this. Some teachers took the side of the union. This is where my concern lies. Did the leader of union understand then that we are now living in the future? Why was there great resistance to teachers working online? Why didn’t the union work with the ministry and the Chief Personnel Officer to come up with a plan for continuous learning? Why didn’t the union grasp the opportunity to be a major contributor to the modern shaping of education?

If the union leader was a bit more progressive and less confrontational, Secondary Entrance Assessment exam preparation would have taken place and done with just like CSEC and CAPE. Even with the now cut-short SEA project, the union opposed for various reasons which did not include Covid-19.

But here we are now...in an abyss as to how next term will shape up. Will there be more resistance to blended learning? As a teacher struggling to meet the demands of my livelihood every month, I wish the union can be more meaningful and proactive.

Be meaningful when it comes to education, because, believe it or not, teachers are willing to work online and the future of education is here...to stay! Be meaningful when it comes to issues both public and private that affect teachers! Your membership is working poor! Be meaningful all the time so the negotiations are effective!

Be proactive when it comes to policy-making! Be proactive when it comes to education! By being proactive, instead of slow and reactive, we would not have found ourselves in this position. I hope education and teachers’ issues do not further slip into the abyss under this present union leadership!

Natasha Constantine

via e-mail