Educators in Antigua and Barbuda are being celebrated for their sterling contributions to the education system during Teachers Week which is being observed from May 14 to 21 under the theme ‘Reshaping the scope of education for sustainable development.’
During an interview on Observer AM yesterday, the General Secretary of the Antigua and Barbuda Teachers Union (ABUT), Sharon Kelsick, highlighted the events planned for the week.
“It just us [the union] highlighting our importance as educators and taking the time to motivate [teachers], to rejuvenate them so that they are well-fuelled up to continue the good work that they’re doing,” Kelsick stated.
Opening the week of activities on Sunday was a service at the Kentish Pentecostal Church on Armstrong Road in Grays Farm. This was followed by a media blitz yesterday. Today, the executive of ABUT will travel to Barbuda, for a meet and greet and professional development sessions with teachers on the sister island.
“On Wednesday, we have our Vision Board Day, where we are going to go around some of our schools and just get from teachers … some of the things that they would like to see happening in education over the next couple of years,” Kelsick said.
The annual general conference of ABUT, held at the union’s headquarters, will brief members of the executive’s plans for the year, on Thursday.
The following day, Teacher’s Appreciation Day, students, parents, and school administration staff are encouraged to show appreciation to their teachers in whatever way they can, and in the evening, a ‘social’ will be held at the union’s headquarters.
On Saturday, the union will honour the country’s educators who have served for 25 years, as well as retired teachers, during a banquet at the Sandals Grande Antigua resort.
The week of activities will culminate on Sunday with a boat cruise titled, ‘York Party’. Members of the public who wish to attend this event can purchase tickets from the union headquarters for EC $200. Tickets for the banquet can also be purchased from the headquarters for the same price.
President of the ABUT, Casroy Charles also outlined one of the ongoing challenges teachers face, which is the lack of parental support in some instances.
“Even though you try to reach out to them [parents] on how they can support their child or children in a more effective way, it’s a challenge getting them to have that conversation. In instances where you have that conversation, it’s also a challenge getting them to implement the suggestions,” Charles explained.
Regarding the process of negotiations for the collective bargaining agreement, Kelsick stated that “we have had conversations with them [government’s negotiating team] since the end of the industrial action [last month] and so we know that they on their end are working as well.
“Once they do what they are supposed to do … we will see some results in short order,” she added.