WITU urges Minister Samuel to reach out to regional Ministers of Education

Stuart Johnson, President of the Windward Island Teachers Union (WITU)


Philipsburg, Sint Maarten — On Tuesday, April 26th, 2022 the President of the Windward Island Teachers Union (WITU) Stuart Johnson dispatched a letter to the Honorable Minister of Education drs. Rudolph Samuel.

Johnson in his letter stated, “The Windward Islands Teachers Union (WITU) notes and with great disquiet that the timetable for the sitting of the CSEC and CAPE examinations has been released. This strongly suggests that normality has returned to the region and the lives of its citizens. However, this is not the reality on the grounds.

It must not be disregarded that our regional educational systems have been grappling with the upheaval caused by the pandemic and are now actively trying to mitigate the learning loss that has accrued. In some cases, schools, have as part of their challenge to find the students who are no longer engaged and also try to restore equity and maintain quality standards. The release of the CSEC and CAPE timetable at this time severely undermines the tremendous efforts being made by stakeholders to treat with the new normal demands.”

Johnson adds, “As yet, there is no suggestion from the examining body as to what accommodations and/or modifications it have made to the examination or content and leaves us to wonder if the plight of the region’s students, teachers, principals and parents were taken into serious consideration before the timetable was set and released.

In light of this, we urge the examining body to delay the timetable by three (3) weeks to allow sufficient time for the teachers, students to complete the syllabi and satisfy the school-based assessment component, (2) reduce SBA requirements, especially for subjects with a practical component, and (3) advise of the topics to be covered by the examination.  Further, we believe that a meeting with CXC Council to further examine some recommendations should be held urgently.”

“We seek to rebuild stronger and with the ability to withstand shocks, such glaring discrepancies and uncertainties, which came to the fore in the midst of the pandemic, must not be repeated and every effort must be made to spare our, now vulnerable stakeholder from being victims of circumstance,” Johnson stated.

“We urge you as Minister of Education to immediately join your regional Ministers of Education to petition the CXC Council so that the body can meet to consider the aforementioned concerns. We trust that you will have your support so that we can build back stronger, together, and to your fullest cooperation,” Johnson concluded.

The WITU stands in full solidarity with the Caribbean Union of Teachers (CUT) on this matter. Johnson is also the 3rd Vice-President of the CUT Executive Board.