WITU to lobby rights of early childhood educators

POSTED: 10/4/14 11:03 AM

St. Maarten – Witu has received a mandate from the Caribbean Teachers Union, of which Witu is an affiliate, to do some homework in the area of early childhood education with the goal of collecting information to be included in a report to be used in the fight to have early childhood education formerly introduced into the education system.

With this in mind the Witu had a meeting with 23 representatives of early childhood education on the island on Tuesday evening and president of the Witu Claire Elshot said the feedback from these representatives was positive.

“Early childhood education might be considered to be education that takes place before compulsory education, whether it is an integral part of the education system or wholly independent of it. This includes childcare centers, nurseries, preschool, kindergarten and any other similar institution. It goes beyond what we refer to as pre-school education; it is an education in its own right. Not only for the purpose of preparing children for school but for life, in the same way as all other parts of education” Elshot explained yesterday.

She cited this as one of the reasons education international has decided to place a lot of emphasis on having early childhood education formalized. An awareness campaign was launched last year dubbed “unite for quality education; better education better world” and it is geared at raising awareness of the importance of early childhood education and the need to have it formalized.

“Unite for quality education is not only looking for quality teachers, quality tools, but it is stressing that the teachers within that system be aligned with the main stream when it comes to their rights and benefits.” The union head said that at Tuesdays’ meetings between the union and the early childhood educators the issue of the benefits that the international representatives of teachers plus the regional representatives –Caribbean Teachers Union– and the Witu would like to have enjoyed by these educators was discussed as well as the union’s willingness to champion this cause on their behalf.

“We’ve noticed that a lot of work has been done in the area of the quality of this type of education to bring them to a certain level. Regrettably they still fall under the ministry of health instead of the ministry of education.” Elshot said this is one of the things that the Witu plans to lobby the new government for.  She added that she is looking forward to sitting with the newly formed government to negotiate for the rights of these teachers. High on the list for Elshot are a better and more structured salary scale for early educators and their rights to join the pension fund.

Elshot added that as a union the Witu is particularly interested in meeting with the minister of labor and the minister of education when the new government is found.

Did you like this? Share it:
WITU to lobby rights of early childhood educators by

Comments are closed.