Signal Hill teachers, parents protest

Parents and teachers at the Signal Hill Secondary School staged a noisy protest outside the school's compound on Friday morning during lunchtime, calling on officials from the Division of Education to address major issues at the school.

According to TTUTA's Tobago Officer Orlando Kerr, the protest action is one of the first steps the union will take to make Tobagonians aware of some of the long-standing issue faced by the island's teachers and students.

"Education is in crisis...and all if not well and we have suffered from these problems for years and something has to be done now," Kerr told reporters.

He said Division officials are blaming the school's management for ongoing problems without playing its role in fixing the situation.

"The school has a need for four guidance officers, 10 Maths teachers and repairs to air condition units in the laboratory. The laboratories have not been used for more than one year because the room is hot and chemicals are volatile in the heat."

He added:" The school has one of four guidance officers so the discipline problem in the school is worse. Imagine classes having no Maths teachers for more than one year and they (Education Division)say everything is good."

Noting that the Division officials  have not been working in good faith with TTUTA, he said: "They just spent millions of dollars on the School Repair Program without  TTUTA's input and we are seeing the results of that today."

Addressing the crowd after the protest, Kerr said other steps will be taken if Division officials continue to ignore TTUTA's requests.

He declined to say what other action the union will take, but some teachers opined: "Next step is to shut down all them volatile labs before someone else dies."

 - by Camille Mceachnie

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