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Alrick Davis | Invigilators are being shafted by education ministry

Published:Wednesday | April 3, 2019 | 12:00 AM

There is an old, old adage which goes like this: ‘Yu nuh si smoke widdout fyah.’This is quite fitting to what I want to share with readers in Jamaica.

Since March 2018, many persons, including myself, have painstakingly volunteered to assist as invigilators and as presiding examiners for what was then the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), the Grade Four Proficiency and the Grade Nine Achievement Test (GNAT). To date, not many of us have received any payments.

Many of us have gone to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MoEYI) as many as three to six times, but are still to receive our very meagre payment.

We have expended our money for travelling, lunch and other amenities, with deep dedication to serving our country’s children and this sovereign country as true patriots, when one compares the benefits offered to us and the quality service rendered.

While we are not yet privy to what Senator Ruel Reid has done to warrant an immediate dismissal from his ministerial post, as well as the Senate and Cabinet, it appears that there was some kind of monetary discrepancy that took place. One wonders if this kind of discrepancy is the real reason or rationale behind invigilators and presiding examiners not being paid, after one long year.

I personally filled out claimsforms four times, and was promised that payment would be forthcoming the end of February 2019. Still many of us are waiting for our ‘peanut seed’ payment.

We hold no grudge with the minister or the MoEYI, but this has gone past one’s imagination why payment has not been issued to these hard-working, dedicated persons who have worked assiduously to see to it our children were comfortable and ready for sitting the various exams sat last year.

PEP EXAMS

Despite not being paid for three exams worked on, and while some presiding examiners opted not to work on the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) exam (out of frustration for their money, for work already done), many faithful championed the cause to see to it that our nation’s children were able to sit their PEP examination, not to mention the challenges we faced amid many unforeseen hurdles.

I am asking the new men at the helm of the ministry to make it a priority for us to be paid ASAP, as many are contemplating boycott of upcoming exams conducted by the MoEYI.

While others at the top are getting fat from eating all the cookies from the public jar, others are practically starving and are displaying great disgust as to why they are not being paid. All I can honestly say is, someone must be taught a lesson from the previous mistakes. What happened within the ministry is a matter that warrants justice at the highest level.

We all are still waiting to be paid, in the shortest possible time , as we prepare for PEP.

Alrick A. Davis, justice of the peace. Email feedback to alrico_dee@yahoo.com and columns@gleanerjm.com