Teachers' terms and conditions affected by the proposal of a shorter lunch break would have to be discussed when the Ministry of Education meets with primary school principals next week, says Education Minister Anthony Garcia.
According to Garcia, the “proposal was not cast in stone” but it did have a measure of merit.
The meeting is to be held with the National Primary Schools Principals Association (NPSPA) president Cogland Griffith and other stakeholders.
Garcia disclosed on Wednesday a 30-minute lunch period instead of one hour was proposed as a measure to reduce pupil indiscipline and violence. Griffith had made the proposal, and he said the initiative would mean schools would be dismissed earlier, thereby allowing children more time to access community programmes.
Garcia said yesterday: “A shorter lunch period is just a proposal. It is not cast in stone. It is not a decision. We will talk to TTUTA (Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association) before we can interfere with terms and conditions affecting the teachers' lunch time. There must be dialogue, discussion and agreement. I had promised the principals we are going to meet with them next week. Then we can explain the results of the discussions and how we can move forward. It is only a proposal. But it is a proposal with merit. We just can't throw it out.”