Tutors protest at State College

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Tutors at the Antigua State College (ASC) have vowed to stay off the job until they can get answers about when issues that are affecting them will be addressed. Patrick Simon, the head of the Union of Tertiary Educators of Antigua and Barbuda, said that the issues were first raised when industrial action was taken back in October, and since then the educators are not satisfied with the level of work done.
“Nothing has really been completed since October last year when we had that initial meeting with the Ministry of Education and its officials. Nothing was done, they just came and painted up a few classrooms and tried to get rid of some graffiti, but that was it,” Simon said. The staff are protesting the lack of sufficient classrooms, furniture and clean bathrooms and the educators are also complaining that poor internet prevents students and teachers from doing research during school hours.
Simon said yesterday’s action followed two meetings on Friday and again on Monday with protesting staff who came to the consensus that such an action was warranted. Students of the A’Level and Business departments were affected when all their teachers refused to work. The other departments have not yet resumed classes since the Christmas break. “We just think these things are too elementary for us to be having this many issues and to be stopping classes.
It is sickening to be having these kinds of conversation[s] … there are significant issues, I don’t want to make them seem trivial, but if you think of it they are trivial matters,” he added. Simon said that the teachers met yesterday morning and raised their concerns with Hiram Forde, the principal of the ASC.
He said that this is the protocol and the principal is expected to advance the concerns to the ministry and Minister of Education. Last year the teachers took similar action after a female student was struck in the head by a part of the building that collapsed while she was in class.

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