Shortage of teachers for business subjects in QC

Dear Editor,

On Thursday, May 6, 2010, I attended a PTA meeting for Queen’s College. My child is currently in fourth form preparing for CXC exams in 2011. After having attended many such meetings I am convinced that these are an exercise in futility. A sore point is the question of term reports being late. Last term’s report was given to the fourth formers on May 7, 2010, an entire month after the reopening of school.

This makes null and void all the speeches that the teachers at the head table make in terms of parents checking the progress of their children and helping their children in the areas where they are suffering shortcomings. How can the parents do that when the only method of evaluation that they can rely on, is consistently handed out late? And this is not a one-time thing. Apparently this is a less talked about QC tradition, which can be confirmed by any fourth-form parent.

The other important issue I wish to highlight is the lack of teachers for the business subjects. Currently the business stream has only two teachers. One teacher takes the 4th formers for Economics, Principles of Business as well as a section of the business students Principles of Accounts. Another teaches Office Administration and the remainder of the business students Accounts. These two teachers have to teach both the 4th and 5th business students. Currently the business class gets two periods (80 minutes) of Economics per week but the CXC syllabus suggests that students should have at least 5 periods (200 minutes) per week. Of the 3 periods assigned for Office Administration only two are taught because the business teacher is forced to choose between the fourth and the fifth formers since they cannot teach both classes at the same time. I am extremely grateful to the teachers currently there and acknowledge that they are doing their best in this situation. What I want to know is what is being done to change this situation of a lack of business and other subject teachers by the Ministry of Education, QC Board of Governors and QC administration? Queen’s College no longer deserves the title of ‘the premier secondary institution in the country.’

I am doing the best I can in terms of sending my child to private lessons, but I feel more of an effort is needed to attract qualified persons to teach these subjects within the school environment. In closing I am making an urgent appeal to the relevant authorities to put more effort in finding qualified persons to fill these vacancies. It has to do with our future generation.

Yours faithfully,
(Name and address provided)

Editor’s note

We are sending a copy of this letter to Ms Friedel Isaacs, Headmistress of Queen’s College for any comment she might wish to make.

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