Tuesday May 16th: Has grief filled your heart?
May 16, 2023
Wednesday May 17th: Jesus is the way, the truth and the life
May 17, 2023

Denominational boards submit recruitment proposal to Teaching Service

By Lara Pickford-Gordon

The Association of Denominational Boards of Education (ADBE) has submitted a proposal to the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) to arrive at a middle ground for the recruitment of teachers for government-assisted schools.

The ADBE proposal was submitted late last week. “They [the TSC] agreed to consider the proposal we submitted to them,” said the Chief Executive Officer of the Catholic Education Board of Management (CEBM) Sharon Mangroo. There is a shortage of teachers at some Board schools and there is concern about the impact on student intake at the start of the new academic year in September. There are 118 RC primary schools and currently more than 60 vacancies.

Mangroo said the main concern of Boards is assuring the denominational character of their schools.

The proposal suggests a digitised system which would be accessible to the Ministry of Education (MoE), TSC and ADBE members. It recommends that persons can apply for employment without having to do so in response to an advertisement from the MoE.

The TSC has highlighted the need to address a backlog of applications however, Mangroo said, “our experience has been while there may be hundreds of people who will apply for a Board school, you don’t have hundreds of people, when you tell them these are the criteria you must meet, who will meet the criteria”.

The proposal asks for applicants to be made aware of the criteria for each Board and interested persons will be required to upload evidence of meeting these criteria. “The Boards would process further only those who have supplied the required evidence.” A list will be developed, which meets the approval of the MoE, TSC and Boards, from which persons can be selected to fill vacancies.

The ADBE met last Wednesday, May 10 and discussed the proposal before it was sent to the TSC.

While members agreed with the proposal in principle, they expressed concern about the time period for implementation. In the interim, the Boards are asking the MoE to accept their recommendations sent in last year for filling of teaching posts using the process in which Boards screened and interviewed applicants they received, then sent their recommendations to the Ministry.

Mangroo stated, “If the TSC accepted the proposals that we had submitted, implementation would start after we get teachers in schools for September.”

On January 26, religious heads along with representatives of denominational boards met with the TSC to discuss the recruitment process for the filling of vacancies at schools.

The meeting came after the TSC implemented a change. In a release ahead of the meeting, the TSC stated “This process allows all eligible and qualified persons of the various denominations and faiths to apply for offices as a consequence of an advertisement in the public domain.” It was “consistent with legal and constitutional provisions and with the Concordat of 1960.”

The Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha took legal action and a pre-action protocol letter dated January 19 was sent to the MoE and TSC on the “Unlawful change to the method of recruiting teachers for denominational schools/breach of Concordat provisions.”

The TSC was reminded of the established practice in which persons applied to and received a Teaching Registration Number from the Ministry and in accordance with Article 4 of the Concordat, applications are first sent to respective Denominational Boards which conducts interviews and forwards recommended persons to the Permanent Secretary in Ministry of Education for “final action”.

The Presbyterian Church, by letter dated March 17 also sent a pre-action protocol letter to the TSC on “the Appointment of Persons recommended to fill Vacancies for Teacher I (Primary) and Assistant Teacher (Primary) – Decision of TSC to Advertise Vacancies for Position of Teacher 1 (Primary)”.