PSVE teachers may down tools if concerns remain unaddressed | THE DAILY HERALD

MADAME ESTATE–St. Maarten Academy Preparatory Secondary Vocational Education (PSVE) section teachers are willing to down tools if their concerns regarding the school principal remain unaddressed.

Some teachers expressed this during a meeting with the Windward Islands Teachers Union (WITU) board at the union’s office in Madame Estate on Wednesday.

A teacher who attended the meeting told The Daily Herald last night that teachers reiterated their grave discontent with the situation at the school and the fact that their concerns have not yet been addressed while the new academic year is set to start in a few days. Around 28 of the school’s 39 staffers attended the meeting, while some who were not in attendance called to indicate that while they could not be present, they were in support of their colleagues.

It was decided that the WITU board will meet again with the Foundation for Academic and Vocational Education (FAVE) board, which is responsible for the PSVE school, to discuss the situation. This meeting is expected to be held at 2:00pm today, Thursday. Following this meeting, the WITU board is expected to meet with PSVE teachers again, after which teachers are expected to decide their next step. WITU and FAVE had met on the matter earlier this year.

One of the school’s teachers said some of the educators were fearful of reprisals from the principal, who the teacher said has been vindictive in the past. Teachers are also fearful that they may lose their jobs due to the significant drop in enrolment at the school, which has reportedly dropped from approximately 600 to approximately 300.

There are also concerns over the introduction of the Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC) programme at the school, amongst many other things.

The teacher said many PSVE educators are willing to accept the principal being reassigned to a position where she is not in charge of the direct management of teachers.

“We want a proper working environment where we can be heard and be respected and not be overworked where we cannot function anymore, and if that means to remove the current principal, then so be it,” the teacher said. “Some don’t want her fired, but we do not want her to be in charge of managing us.”

FAVE board Chairperson Roland Duncan had said in an earlier interview that the board had no intention of removing the principal from her position.

Source: The Daily Herald