More PTAs, secretariat to be set up

The Education Ministry is moving to resuscitate Parent-Teachers Associations (PTAs) across the nation and increase the number of student councils.Evelyn Hamilton

Augmenting the number of these Associations and student councils will allow for parents and other stakeholders to share in the process of diagnosing and taking actions to address issues affecting schools and children’s performance, Chief Planning Officer in the Ministry, Evelyn Hamilton said.

Engaging indigenous leaders at the National Toshaos Council (NTC) Conference recently, Hamilton explained, “What the Ministry wants to do in a sense, is to have our stakeholders – parents, Toshaos, other community leaders being able to look at the school and to be able to say to the Ministry what might be going wrong, with the physical facilities, what might be going wrong with teachers’ attendance, with children’s attendance… and to suggest ways in which for each individual school there could be an improvement in performance.”

There are also plans to have a new PTA Secretariat. This will ensure a line of communication through which the concerns of the PTAs can be channelled to the Ministry for action, Education Minister, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine said.

“I believe that for us to move this whole education train along, we must get the active collaboration of teachers and parents. Teachers have the children in school for a few hours; the parents have them the rest of the time. We cannot have teachers doing one thing in the classroom, and when they get home, parents doing another,” the Minister is quoted as saying by the Government Information Agency at the recently-concluded NTC.

“We need to ensure that the collaboration between our teachers and our parents is very strong. To that end, we are planning to establish at the Ministry of Education a national PTA secretariat, where we are going to monitor much more carefully than we were able to do the state, the conditions of the PTAs across the country,” he explained.

The Ministry has already engaged a PTA coordinator to assist with improving the capacity and capability of the bodies and student councils countrywide. The Ministry has also employed the PTA Secretariat Head.