THE EDITOR, SIR:
AS AN individual working with the ASTEP Programme from its inception, I could not help but carefully read the article by Chief Education Officer Grace McLean. A lot is being said about the students and how they will be transitioned to the high-school system, yet no mention is made of the teachers that were employed with the programme.
I must say that some students have, in fact, made progress and can sucessfully be transitioned to high schools - all this can be credited to the teachers' dedicated work. At the end of the second year of the programme, it is said that it will be reconfigured and as a result taken out of primary schools and placed in junior high and all-age schools.
Despite all the reconfiguration, there has not been any meeting up to this date August 22, 2013, to inform the teachers that their contracts have been terminated and their service will not be needed for the upcoming school year 2013- 2014. Meetings have been held, but none with the teachers, and the contracts are set to be up August 31, 2013.
According to the Ministry of Education, the programme is to be placed in junior high and all-age schools that are deemed overstaffed and as a result no ASTEP centre coordinators (teachers) will be used to carry out the programme for September 2013. It is clear that contracts can come to an end at any point but is this the way they are dealt with, total disregard for the employee?
When does the Ministry of Education intend to inform ASTEP teachers of the termination of their contracts. Any call to the ministry to get information sends you on a goose chase as no one knows what is happening.