The Union of Professional Educators – Voice of the Workers is seriously disappointed with the news our Minister of Education and Employment issued last night on social media with reference to the circular DCLE09/2020. Teachers who contacted the union are feeling betrayed as, yet again, the taskforce struck another blow on our already heavily burdened teachers, coercing them to accept even more work than they already have been doing.
Teachers have been expressing their misgivings about the confidence they had put in the hands of MUT when it comes to safeguarding the interests of Educators. The task force, which comprises representatives of the Ministry, Church Schools and Independent schools, together with the MUT have, one more time, taken absurd decisions on behalf of teachers but behind their backs, and then presented the whole thing in a dictatorial fashion, which allows for no form of discussion or revision. The UPE has been side-lined in this decision making process.
Teachers, who had already submitted detailed schemes of work, are now being told to submit another even more detailed scheme of work every month, stating what work will be done together with an additional record of work detailing work done week by week. Despite the lip service paid to teachers, it has become very clear that teachers work is being denigrated. This comes out more than clearly in the fact that this kind of statement was not issued through formal modes of communication, but on a Facebook post on the Minister’s page: so much for treating professionals with the professionalism they are due.
The UPE is taking a serious stand on this latest development, and will by no means acknowledge these new instructions as being justifiable or acceptable at this point in time. It seems that it is only the UPE who has educators’ best interests at heart, as the task force with MUT at its helm, has betrayed teachers by putting aside the obvious volumes of work educators have been doing in these unprecedented times, only to burden them with even more redundant and unwarranted red tape.
It is unconceivable that the Minister is mistreating this sector so badly. His not being an educator himself puts him in a position which does not fully allow him to appreciate the staggering amounts of work the educators have been putting into the education of our children. He quoted that over 1,200 lessons have been catered for on Teleskola. The sheer number itself should have been an indication as to how one should not ask for more, and yet he has allowed pen-pushing officers who have been sitting behind a desk for years, and who are not in touch with the reality of day-to-day teaching, to steer him into increasing educators’ workloads to unfair levels.
The union will not stand to take this punch in the face quietly and, in the best interest of educators, is issuing the following directives exclusively for its members.
- Educators who are members of the UPE are not to submit any new/revised schemes of work and records of work for the 3rd term since they have already been submitted at the beginning of the scholastic year.
- Educators who are members of the UPE are to refrain from handing over their lesson plans or any teaching resources since these are their intellectual property.
The union would like to emphasize that these directives are only applicable to UPE members, as it is only the UPE who is openly looking out for educators at this point in time.
To conclude, the UPE cannot help but wonder why MEDE has, yet again, not called upon this union to partake in the decision making process. One might be tempted to believe that the fact that the UPE does not bow its head down in acquiescence to everything and anything it is instructed to do, might be percieved to be an uncomfortable thorn in their side.