Monday, March 19, 2018

Ministry to probe $300 'lessons' teacher

THE Ministry of Education will investigate claims that a teacher at a primary school in Chaguanas is charging parents $300 per month for “extra lessons” for the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) pupils.

A parent contacted the Express with this concern saying that out a class with 30 pupils, 28 are attending the private sessions.

The parent said the lessons are being conducted on the school's compound, after school hours and on Saturdays.

This is in contravention of the Ministry of Education's policy which debars teachers from charging fees for additions lessons and conducting the lessons on the school's compound.

During a press conference last week, the Chief Education Officer Harrilal Seecharan said that teachers of Government schools who charge for extra lessons, will be dealt with by the Ministry.

The concerned parent said the teacher was completing parts of the class syllabus during these “extra lessons” and giving homework during this period.

The parent also said that his child was being victimised by the class teacher for not attending the lessons.

“We opted not to send our child for lessons in school and found someone who works really well with our child. There was an incident in school where my child asked the teacher to explain something because (the child) didn't understand and the teacher said that my child should ask the lessons teacher he goes for lessons about it. This is very upsetting,” said the parent.

Seecharan said: “We are aware of teachers who do additional work with students in schools in order to prepare them for SEA. The Ministry does not support the issue of teachers not teaching during the school day and giving extra lessons. Therefore, any information to that effect there are channels in which this can be dealt with starting with the principal in the school.

We have a policy with Government schools where we have control over where extra lessons at a cost is not allowed. So any information to the contrary we will deal with.”

An official with the Ministry of Education told the Express that the matter will be investigated.