Lourens mulls teachers’ rights caucus

POSTED: 06/24/13 12:02 PM

St. Maarten – Education Minister Patricia Lourens-Philip has committed to jointly hosting a conference on the rights and responsibilities of teachers, with the Windward Island Teachers Union (Witu). The minister, on Saturday said that she was desirous of hosting the conference as one of her first contributions while in office, because the value of teachers is not being recognized.
“I have always looked at the union as the group that is concerned about the professionalism of teachers. For me, in this age, it is very important that teachers are given the respect they deserve as professionals. As soon as the graduations settle down, I would really like to meet with the union because I am thinking of joining with the union to a conference on the rights and responsibilities of teachers. I think it is very important that we work together to raise the professionalism of teachers and to also change the way that the community looks at teachers,” Lourens said to thunderous applause from the educators seated in the audience.
The minister was firm in her belief that teaching is the most valuable profession.
“To me the most valuable profession is the teaching profession. No one can become an engineer without a teacher, no one can become a cook without a teacher, no one can become anything without the work of a teacher. I think over the last couple of years the profession has become very challenging, not like when I use to teach.”
Minister Lourens was at the time speaking at the 40th anniversary open house and celebration for the Witu. She encouraged the union to ensure continuity alongside the development of St. Maarten.

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