TTUTA Tobago officer calls on Education Division: Implement developmental curriculum in schools

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

TTUTA Tobago officer Bradon Roberts –

A curriculum tailored for development must be advanced as the way forward.

This comes from TT Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) Tobago Officer Bradon Roberts on the heels of the revelations by the THA Division of Education, Research and Technology that a total of 159 scored under 30 per cent in the Secondary Entrance Assessment 2023.

Roberts told Newsday that things must be put in place.

“Resource our schools, invite stakeholders, let us have a collaborative approach where we are having a project based thematic in our schools so that the content is meaningful to the child, that is how we are losing our children.”

He said schools are teaching topics which many of the students are not able to relate to.

“Some of them do not have parents who would carry them on tours and bringing up some of the work from school and give the comparisons, we don’t all have that. Yes, we have some teachers who can link these topics very well but not all teachers can link topics and have them relating to each other as good as the if we have a project base and a thematic approach, that may be able to assist.”

On Monday, education secretary Zorisha Hackett stated that the island has seen a decrease in the number of remedial students scoring below 30 per cent in this year’s exam. But according to Roberts, it was expected that the students would have done better coming out of face-to-face, noting that the online engagement was not ideal.

“It was an emergency response to the pandemic so of course the results would be better than last year and the previous year because we would have been coming out of that online engagement. It’s still not ideal as to where we want our students. The literacy level is still too low so the mathematics and the language arts could have been a little better, but the creative writing continues to be a problem.”

He added: “I’m not certain if it’s the rubric, if it’s the application of the rubric, the training of teachers to actually access these creative writing papers when they do the practice test, but it needs to be looked into as to why our students in Tobago especially are not doing so well in the creative writing.”

In applauding the division for having the IMPACT project for a second year, he said he remains uncertain in terms of what impact the project would have.

“Politics in Trinidad and Tobago does not allow for progress to take place and development. I don’t know what impact it is really having when you take random teachers and students and put them together, you need to then diagnose, learn these students’ strength and then be able to have a package tailored for these students. Remember we are no longer teaching content, where students are going to learn by notes and regurgitate, students are required to do more explanations and students question things because they want to earn their knowledge. So I don’t know what level of impact this IMPACT programme would have.”

He questioned how students would be addressed from first year into standard five class in an effort to minimise the number of them securing under 30 per cent in the examination.

“We need to be more proactive, than to have a response to say that we’re doing something.”