Public schools have just reopened following an extended Easter Break, and at least one secondary school has taken the decision not to continue with classes for the remainder of the week during the Teachers Union-led industrial action.
Government-school teachers across the country commenced industrial action today, April 17, when schools were reopened after an extra four vacation days.
A sit-in, to begin last Tuesday, April 11, had been planned.
Now, in a letter to parents dated April 17, the principal of the Antigua Grammar School, Sam Roberts, reminds parents of the industrial action being taken by the teachers, with the consent of their bargaining agent, the Antigua and Barbuda Union of Teachers (A&BUT).
Since most teachers at the Grammar School are members of the Union, Roberts writes, the school will not be able to conduct classes.
Additionally, he says, the school will not be able to provide the adequate supervision required for the students at this time. And he is unable to give parents any assurances as to when the industrial action will end.
Appeals have been coming from Education officials, including Minister of Education Daryl Matthew, imploring eachers to return to the classroom with some urgency. They note that CSEC examinations and the Grade Six National Assessment will be conducted in a few weeks.
However, the teachers say they are resolved to withhold their services until their demands are met, since Ministry of Education officials continue to disrespect them.