Antigua: Teachers want stress relief

Antigua Observer:-Alister Thomas, President of the Parent Teachers’ Association (PTA) is calling for assistance for the nation’s educators.

Speaking on OBSERVER AM yesterday, Thomas said that teachers are under societal strain and a psychological programme should be established to help relieve their stress.

“There should be every effort from the administration, the ministry and the wider society to help teachers. It is a job that requires a great deal of psychological and social assistance,” said Thomas. “If you help teachers with some of the challenges of their everyday lives they can give more in the classroom.”

The PTA president said teachers are being grossly underpaid and it is a major source of distraction.

“Their remuneration scale is outdated and too many of them are distracted by their economic problems,”said Thomas. “I think they should get some form of incentives from utility companies, supermarkets and car dealerships, to help them focus more on their jobs and less on their problems.”

Thomas said teachers play one of the greatest roles in society in educating the nation’s children while simultaneously taking from their salaries to assist students.

The PTA president commends the educators for the outstanding work they have been doing and reminded them they are moulding lives and shaping minds and not just doing a job.

Thomas also encouraged parents to be more vigilant in monitoring children especially against the “mighty monster”- social media.

“In these times, being a parent is more challenging than any other time in modern history. Parents’ responsibility and focus is sometimes required to be doubled, tripled”, said Thomas. “Social media is an unbridled medium that exposes a child to every aspect of life from erotic sex to making bombs”.

He also appealed to parents, especially fathers, to be more involved in their children’s education.

“Fathers are absent and there is no excuse for it. It is one of the major contributing factors why children have become so defiant and challenged. Help our teachers as too many of them are carrying the burden of being parents, counsellors and teachers.”

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