The Union of Professional Educators – Voice of The Workers has been approached by many of its members, in response to the article published on the 20th of March with reference to eLearning guidelines, to report irregularities in expected versus approved practice.
After analysing the situation at great length, the Union is disconcerted at how the management of certain schools is taking advantage of the current situation and are no longer just encouraging, but coercing Educators to engage in specific unapproved practices.
For this reason, members of the UPE are to adhere to the following guidelines when engaging in online teaching;
- Educators members of the UPE are NOT to engage in any telephone conversations with students or parents, using a landline, a mobile phone number, or a WhatsApp or messenger call.
- Educators are NOT to join, or be part of, any Social Media Group or Page (on Facebook, Messenger or WhatsApp) which allows access to students or parents.
- Educators are free to choose whether or not to engage in video conferencing and should not be expected, or coerced, to go against their choice.
- Educators members of the UPE are to email students using the official means provided to the student by the school such as ilearn, or the school email. Emails should ensure that they always have a member of the SLT in cc.
- Educators are to upload material for their students on the school platform or email students as instructed in the above-mentioned guidelines. When this is not possible, any such material is to be sent directly to either the Head of School or the Assistant Head responsible for that particular grade or subject. The material will then be distributed to the students by the SLT as required.
- As per guidance given by the Ministry of Education and Employment, Educators are being encouraged to give students feedback only where necessary and are NOT being expected to do so on all tasks submitted by students.
- As per guidelines issued by the Ministry of Education and Employment, Educators have been invited to provide model answers and marking schemes, especially when dealing with older students.
The UPE emphasises the necessity to maintain clear professional boundaries to safeguard both the Educators and their students. Over the past days, the Union has confirmed that video conferencing is not possible for many Educators who are currently caring for their own children at home. There are also others who, unfortunately, have social problems which they would rather not make public on means of communication. As a Union, we have to remain sensitive towards our members’ conditions and protect their right to privacy at home.
Should any of the members of the union have any further queries, or need to report any instances of coercion into the use of unapproved communication, we can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling our offices on 2590 5400