Former education minister supports teachers’ demand for pay to grade SBAs

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A former minister of education has added her voice to the ongoing threat by teachers across the region to withdraw their services in marking the School

Based Assessment (SBA) projects stipulated by the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC).

Dr. Jacqui Quinn said she is in full support of the stance that is being taken by educators and that she is shocked that this discussion is still taking place.

“CXC has to understand that all the stakeholders in the certification process have to be paid. Why are we still having this discussion so much so that one territory is taking this matter to court? CXC has to understand that the SBA is now a critical part of the certification and the examination process and they should be paying all of these players,” Dr Quinn stated.

She also posited that the relationship between the regional examination body and educators will not improve if there are external factors at play.

“You have to make sure that everybody is comfortable with this process and I gather that even here in Antigua and Barbuda invigilators from last year have not been paid. How do you have a good relationship with the people who are upholding the integrity if you have not paid them from last year? We have to do better than this,” Dr Quinn stated during the Big Issues programme.

President of the Antigua and Barbuda Union of Teachers (ABUT) Ashworth Azille said this was among the matters discussed at

the union’s Annual

General Conference last Thursday.

He said that a resolution was moved for an urgent discussion on the matter to ensure that local teachers are duly compensated.

“Teachers are saying the process of administering SBAs can be quite arduous on them and yet there is no recognition that it represents added work and added stress by an organisation that does not employ them. That level of discussion has to take place at the regional level,” Azille said.

Teachers in some Caribbean countries — Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Barbados — have been complaining about not being paid to mark the projects, and have threatened to withdraw their services in protest.

In late April, former CXC Registrar, Dr. Didacus Jules said that the issue of payment to the teachers

has been a long-standing matter.

He told HTS Television that CXC cannot afford to pay markers.

The CXC was established in 1972, under agreement by the participating regional governments, to conduct examinations as it may think appropriate and award certificates and diplomas on the results of any such examinations so conducted.

The council is empowered to regulate the conduct of any such examinations and prescribe the qualification requirements of candidates and the fees payable by them.

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