The Union of Professional Educators – Voice of the Workers was quite surprised to read the article entitled “Teachers left out of public think-tank on education”, published in the early hours of the afternoon on Wednesday the 13th of May. In the article, we learn how a think-tank set up by the government to prepare for the future of education, and which should be working on a framework which will eventually lead to the reopening of educational institutions, is having discussions with major stakeholders participating in it.
The fact that this is actually taking place is reassuring, as it means that we are finally getting a glimmer of hope when it comes to finally going back to normal business as usual, or as close as one can get to that. However, there is just one issue here which leaves us perplexed. How can it be that all major stakeholders are being consulted on the future of education when educators and their union have been entirely left out of the picture?
Which stakeholders should be considered more important in education than the educators and their representatives? The union cannot but doubt the validity of the activity mentioned in the article, given that the professionals who would have been most able to provide solid feedback and advice, the experts who live the reality of day-to-day education, have been cast aside and left out of all the decisions which will be taken. Thus teachers are being left to the mercy of decisions taken by phantomatic major stakeholders who have no idea what teaching involves.
In the meantime, the union is waiting on the Minister to contact the union, so that some form of communication is established on the matter. The UPE, as a union with members which have now gone into the thousands, is more than willing to represent the true stakeholders in discussions about the re-opening of schools in the coming months.