The Union of Professional Educators – Voice of the Workers, has received repeated reports from its members stating that they have been called in to remove their resources from their cupboards to clear space in preparation for the re-opening of schools. Educators are being asked to go to school and collect all of their resources and take them home.
To anyone who is really familiar with the educational environment, this clearly becomes a Herculean task. Years of resources, which have been left at school for reference, or for use at a later date during the year, are being removed from the school, leaving educators with no resources to refer to, should they need to access any additional material for immediate use. KGEs are being expected to work without resources after having been asked to remove resources and toys from the school building. A KGE who called the union this morning was at a loss because with no resources readily available for these little children, there was no way in which any form of education could take place come the first day of school.
Teachers and LSEs are all in the same predicament, with no resources being allowed at school. How are teachers and LSEs expected to get through a full day of work relying on their memory and invisible resources to access?
The union finds this instruction to remove resources from school somewhat aimless, as educators are being deprived of immediate access to their tools. Would anyone ever ask a plumber to leave tools at home when going to work? Would anyone ask a doctor not to bring his tools to work and then be required to visit patients? How then can anyone expect educators to deliver a lesson if tools are not available?
Furthermore, these educators are being expected to collect these resources during their holiday period. Teachers do not work on the same proviso of other places of work, where their days off can be accessed at any other time should their days off be stunted by a request from their place of work. Would anyone in any other profession accept to have days off taken away from them to cover work duties and then get told that those days off still count as leave taken? Why then is it to be considered acceptable for teachers to relinquish their right to their period of leave when there are teachers’ days coming up in which this exercise can be done during work time?
The UPE thinks that it would be a matter of common sense to have cupboards with their content moved to another area of the school so that storage is guaranteed on premises without encumbering teaching space. It does not seem that insensate to request that those who keep the school going are ensured access to the tools of the trade. It is ultimately the responsibility of the school to figure out a way to allocate space for these resources if lessons are to take effectively place on premises.
The demands being posed upon our educators on this issue have no rhyme or reason. Our educators are being asked to go to work and wing through days on end without resources to support the learning process, only increasing the probability of their being attacked yet again for a lack of proactivity and competence by the general public who is unaware of what they are going through at all times.
The union is going to hold the Ministry responsible for any loss or damage which may occur to any of these resources as they are moved around the school.