Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 16th 2018 Contents A20 opinion
Friday, March 16, 2018
Is TTUTA anti quality education?
As a former teacher, I am totally disappointed
over the decision by the Trinidad and Tobago
Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) to
encourage teachers to resist efforts by the
Ministry of Education to ensure clinical
supervision is conducted in our schools.
On March, 9, 2018 I read in total amazement an
article where TTUTA took a decision to advise its
members against writing lesson plans/notes of
lessons. This is one of the most ridiculous and
backward steps ever taken in the history of the
It proves that TTUTA is not committed to
improving the quality of education for students
and the professional development of its
A teacher’s lesson plan is a guide for organising
his/her materials and for the purpose of
helping students achieve the intended learning
outcomes. Therefore this decision by TTUTA is
like a builder constructing a house without a
Lesson planning is a creative process and there
are many important benefits of this activity.
Good planning allows for more effective
teaching and learning and also for teachers to
evaluate their own knowledge with regard to
the content to be taught.
Finally, I find it very troubling that TTUTA is also
telling even Assistant Teachers that they have
no obligation to write lesson plans/notes of
lesson. This is definitely a recipe for mediocrity
and a lowering of the education standards.
TTUTA is very much aware that teacher training
institutions place great emphasis on lesson
planning and writing, especially for beginning
Where are the system
failures in this tragedy?
There are no words to express our
collective grief at the killing of Abigail
Chapman, her daughter Olivia Chapman,
Michael Scott and Michaela Mason. But
there are words to express our outrage.
Because, as the newspapers report,
Abigail Chapman, aware that her life
was in danger, went to the La Brea Police
Station to report that a man had choked
her and placed a knife to her throat. There
was no issue with detection. She knew
the identity of the perpetrator. She was
aware of the extreme danger to which she
The newspaper reports suggest no
sufficient action was taken by the police.
If this proves to be the case, there must be
consequences in the name of justice for
Over the last few months, the Coalition
against Domestic Violence has repeatedly
called upon the government to institute
a protocol of investigation into the prior
conduct of police for all cases of domestic
murder. We repeat this demand now
because the families of the victims and
the public have a right to know what the
La Brea Police Station knew about the
dangers faced by Abigail Chapman and
what actions were taken in response.
We need to assess whether there were
errors of judgment and inaction. We need
to know whether there were system
failures so that we can learn from this
We recognise that police officers have
amongst the most challenging jobs
and that the consequences of social
and economic problems end up in the
criminal justice system. We recognise that
ending gender-based violence requires an
integrated national response that focuses
on prevention, on gender equality and on
building a culture of peace.
Preventing domestic violence is
everyone’s responsibility. Yet the police
are at the very heart of ending gender-
based violence and they must do better
and improve now.
We call for an urgent investigation into
the actions of the La Brea Police Station
and also an inquiry into the conduct of
police in relation to all persons killed
in domestic settings over the last four
The women of Trinidad and Tobago must
be able to trust that the police service will
listen and record their reports of abuse
and threats and will act immediately and
with diligence to protect their lives.
We must be able to rely on the police that
all reports of domestic-related violence
will be investigated; that the standards for
making arrests, charging and prosecuting
violent crimes or threats of violent crimes
will be applied to all cases of domestic
violence. Or else, we leave people to be
further wounded and killed. And for that
negligence and reckless inaction, there
must be accountability.
The state appears to have failed Abigail
Chapman during her life. That failure has
had ruinous consequences. This must not
President, Coalition against
Concerted effort needed
to solve traffic problems
In this era of technology why do we need to have all this “people
movement?” The need to centralise is outdated and requires
immediate attention from both the Government and the private
sector. As I sat in the traffic recently a thought struck me—why
is so much time being spent on the ferry issue? Surely no one in
their right mind wants to hurry from Tobago to get caught up in
our traffic congestion.
Our civil servants need to be concentrating on ways and means to
reduce the traffic problems that we have. (Civil servants somehow
seem as though it might be offensive to some of our touchy
citizens.) Our automobile importers need to be a bit more positive
in their outlook and recognise that they are contributing towards
the problem. Instead of harping on that age old “what about my
employees,” there must be a concerted effort to provide alternate
ways of using the available workforce.
Educational establishments must, of necessity, concentrate on
preparing students to face a new age where robots (iPhones,
computers, etc) get the work done while we humans explore
other opportunities of work without too much emphasis on play.
Our Government must cut out a number of these holidays and
encourage “all” citizens towards making Trinidad and Tobago the
special place that it can be if we unite. Please note, Mrs KPB!
Let’s fix what we are capable of fixing and get on with a peaceful,
loving life. I’m off to see if water is on the line!
A police officer, left, shoot some hoops with residents of Dass Trace in Enterprise, Chaguanas, during a patrol
in the area on Sunday.
PICTURE ABRAHAM DIAZ
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