~ External bureau to evaluate teachers, principal ~
PHILIPSBURG–Foundation for Academic and Vocational Education (FAVE) has stuck to its position that it will not remove Lavern Nelson from her position as principal of the St. Maarten Academy Preparatory Secondary Vocational Education (PSVE) section and has called on teachers of the school to be flexible and to cooperate for the reopening of schools on Monday for the new academic year.
The FAVE board made its position clear during a meeting with the Windward Islands Teachers Union (WITU) on Thursday. WITU President Claire Elshot told The Daily Herald following the meeting that the union will be relaying the information received back to its membership who will determine their next step. Some members of the union indicated during a meeting with WITU on Wednesday that they were willing to down tools in industrial action if their concerns regarding the principal remain unaddressed.
In reporting on the outcome of Thursday’s meeting with the FAVE board, Elshot said FAVE Chairman Roland Duncan had issued a plea to PSVE teachers to cooperate so that school can reopen on Monday, and had asked for their flexibility on a number of issues. Duncan said he is also grateful for the work the teachers do.
He said the FAVE board is willing to look at the issues at hand via an external bureau.
According to Elshot, the external bureau will be executing several things, including conducting an evaluation of teachers as well as that of the principal. This is said to be part of the rebranding of the PSVE school. The bureau is expected to have the details of how it will execute its evaluation by the end of August. The union expects to be consulted on this.
Asked whether she was satisfied with the outcome of the meeting with the FAVE board, Elshot said that with her membership maintaining their position that Nelson should be reassigned and the FAVE board maintaining that this will not be done, WITU cannot express satisfaction.
She stressed that her membership just wants Nelson to be reassigned to another position. This, she argued, is something that is common in the education system. It has happened in the past in the secondary education system and it continues to occur based on the feelings and assessment of teachers.
The PSVE teachers believe that Nelson’s lack of leadership skills and the environment she has created at the school affect the learning atmosphere at the school and have contributed to the dropping of grades at the school. Teachers also have some concerns surrounding the Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC) programme.
Elshot said that while Duncan believes the points raised by the PSVE teachers are inconsequential, the union believes its members’ concerns are real.
“It is not so much what the principal does, but the manner in which things are done raises eyebrows and concerns by teachers,” Elshot said. The union’s concern is that the school year will start with unhappy teachers.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/79432-fave-board-sticks-to-its-position-on-psve-principal