Letters — 26 April 2013

Dear Editor,

From the very introduction of the Vocational/Technical (Vo-Tech) study into the education system, students have received numerous achievements as a result of teachers who have trained in the (Vo-Tech) area. These teachers prepare students for life and have thus continuously displayed excellent performances which are made possible by teachers in the field, who in fact are continuously offering extra classes and still carrying out the same duties as all other subject teachers.

It must be highlighted that the Vo-Tech teachers get the lowest pay or are, in actuality, on the lowest pay scale (8). With that said there is no available vocational/technical program in place or made available to upgrade these teachers at the Baccalaureate level in order for the teachers to be trained and receive a full teaching license. Sadly enough, I must mention that teaching certification memos are given to teachers of Vo-Tech area with no consideration for their status or the lack of the availability of appropriate curriculum in the local university for higher education in the Vo-Tech area. The ministry fails to realize the peculiar situation of these teachers and just simply class them with all other teachers, which in truth is bias.

Another point of concern is the freezing of Vo-Tech teachers’ increment since 2010 and to make matters worse, teachers who are beyond the 4th point on the scale are affected significantly. These actions that are not thought through properly impact the way of life of the educators in significant ways and there is no communication or better yet consultation of the changes in the system. Teachers are now being advised to improve their qualifications at the Baccalaureate Level; they are to pursue studies in areas other than Vo-Tech, and for example focus on studies in English and/or Mathematics. How could a teacher be qualified in a specific discipline and be encouraged to teach in another? That poses other problems for the said teacher and is in fact a subtle manner of purging the system of teachers from the Vo-Tech profession. Just ponder on that for a moment.

In summation we fail to see what an increment freeze has to do with seeking an upgrade in qualification. We believe these are two separate things. Increment must be awarded based on annual performance which then allows the individuals to be able to afford the cost of furthering their studies to become qualified in their area of focus, Vocational/Technical (Vo-Tech) study.

(Note: Kindly withhold name of writer)

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