DAT president highlights challenges teachers face; calls on DAT to be more vibrant

Mervin Alexander

President of the Dominica Association of Teachers (DAT), Mervin Alexander has highlighted some of the challenges that teachers have been facing over the past 2 years.

He was delivering remarks at the 16th Biennial Convention of the DAT held this week.

“ For the past few years, you as teachers, have been very challenged in the delivery of your lessons, natural disasters, Covid-19 , lack of conducive working conditions, low salaries to name a few,” he said.

According to Alexander, throughout the Pandemic teachers have played a powerful role in keeping students learning.

“Covid-19 came upon us like a thief in the night and almost immediately, you had to think of new and innovative ways to keep your students engaged in learning,” he noted. You all knew what you had to go through. Some of you expressed your frustration to me, but always, at the back of your mind, you were concerned for your students.”

He went on to state that Covid-19 has also reiterated the fact that teachers are very valuable instruments.

“You quickly adjusted to the new norms of teaching,” Alexander said. “Not only did you have to deal with the stress of learning new modalities in the delivery of your lessons with little or no training, but the expense among yourselves was tremendous since you had to use your own personal equipment to deliver lessons.”

He added, “I have no doubt in my mind that teachers are the most committed public officers.”

Another area of concern according to Alexander, is the permanent appointment of teachers.

“When I visited schools, I met a number of teachers and principals who were not appointed, so at every opportunity that presented itself, I raised that and we saw a number of teachers and principals appointed,” Alexander noted.

He believes teachers need better treatment and better working conditions.

“Our teachers need emotional and psychological support,” Alexander remarked. “Most of them are working under stressful situations. Let us take a closer look at our teachers and treat them properly and with respect.”

Meanwhile, the DAT president called on teachers to make the organization more vibrant.

“Too many of you are just passing followers. So, please wake up from your slumber; arise from your sleep; make it a brand new day for DAT,” Alexander admonished his colleagues. “You are educators for crying out loud.”

He reminded educators that they are not passive people since they are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to keep students interested in learning.

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10 Comments

  1. Ibo France
    April 25, 2022

    Mr. Mervin Alexander what have you done for your flock other than the occasional bland speech? Talk alone won’t suffice. It must be accompanied by action.

    Teachers are working under some of the most trying circumstances under your watch. What have you done about it? Nada! You need to be replaced by someone more assertive, more action oriented to lead the teaching fraternity from its present depressing state of affairs.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2
  2. Stella
    April 24, 2022

    Dat needs to be on the ground with the teachers.

  3. Che
    April 24, 2022

    Randy, you need to rise from your armchair and lead your teachers out to the financial centre and on the way there join up with Athie. The days of words in Dominica a gone for sure. Rise up, and claim back your country.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1
  4. There is someone better than you
    April 23, 2022

    Teachers are not paid family and are not given proper training when kids are injured or fall ill so that they can take care of them before the professionals arrive. My mom was a teacher for 41 years and now retired. She said she never received first aid training. So these are the areas the government needs to look at.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  5. Ibo France
    April 22, 2022

    Teachers, you all need to close ranks. Disunity will hinder you from making the strides you need to elevate your standard of living.

    Teachers are too timid for their own good. They don’t agitate for better pay nor better working conditions. Don’t expect anything good will happen for you if you don’t get up off your laurels and make some sort of personal sacrifices.

    Courage conquers all things. Cowardice kills goals.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 3
  6. Ibo France
    April 22, 2022

    I have reserved a special place in my heart for teachers. They touch eternity. Without teachers, all or most of the other professions would flounder.

    Too many teachers live in subtle poverty. Because of inflation and stagnant salaries, teachers have been relegated from the middle class to the working poor.

    Teaching has become a thankless job. Teachers are constantly abused by parents, students, and even some education officials. The support system to assist those teachers who become infirm because of the stressful nature of the job is non- existent.

    For the horrible treatment, the gross disrespect, and the neglect meted out to these noble nation builders, the governing authorities need to hang their collective heads in eternal shame.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 3
  7. April 22, 2022

    Words of wisdom, truth, and power, my dear former students. May the Lord continue to guide you in your works on behalf of the teachers in Dominica.

    You are so right! They are “educators”, a job that the World cannot survive without it. Our teachers need to think sternly about this “truth” if they are going to present their work with strength and vigor, as God wants to guide them to do so.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 11
  8. dissident
    April 22, 2022

    Be brave, be assertive….. this is a grand moment if the teachers themselves are unwilling why doesn’t the executive speak up louder……..why not join de walk every Wednesday to publicize those issues and win public support to confront de government.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2
    • Ibo France
      April 23, 2022

      Teachers should join the WALK as they are not looked upon favourably by the dishonorable, dictatorial regime.

      You get the worst remuneration for often times going beyond the call of duty; your working conditions are some of the worst; and most definitely you have the WORST minister (Madam Pampalam Shaker).

      Teachers are much too docile. Submissive people/workers are always put to the back of the line.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0
  9. Who Feels It, Knows It
    April 22, 2022

    It’s all talk talk talk and more talk. Many teachers have become numb to the challenges they face and very soon all the good teachers will either migrate or move to other fulfilling professions. Just imagine as frontline workers teachers had to buy their own masks while every other government office had masks, alcohol and everything at their disposal. And some people will oppose teachers getting better treatment but all I’ll say is who feels it knows it..

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

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