The soon to be formed Vanuatu Secondary School Teachers Association (VSSTA) will not duplicate the Vanuatu Teachers Union (VTU)’s role in addressing the welfare of teachers.
Interim President, Graham Kalmar and Secretary Shem Simon made this statement when clarifying the role of the association during their second meeting held recently at Malapoa College in Port Vila.
“When it becomes an effective group, VSSTA will focus on improving teacher professionalism to meet the education needs of students,” they explained.
“It will concentrate on addressing teacher professional development in areas like standardizing teacher resources to empower them to boost academic performances.
“VSSTA will not deal with issues related to teacher grievances as it is the role of VTU.
“But, the association will work closely with VTU, the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) and Teaching Service Commission (TSC) to fulfill its priorities.”
Interim President Kalmar believes VTU was not doing enough to address teacher grievances and the development and improvement of teachers was not in the scope of VTU.
Interim Secretary Simon emphasized that the core purpose of the Association’s establishment is to address the declining academic performance of secondary school students.
“The Association would allow for professional development and upskilling of teachers, resource sharing and harmonization of procedures and processes of assessments”, he said.
Ideally, the Association would operate as a subsidiary of the National Principals Association, an initiative by the Ministry of Education and Training.
The initiative to form VSSTA was initiated by secondary school teachers in Port Vila and around Efate and supported by teachers across Vanuatu.
The agenda of VSSTA second meeting was setting of the association and office bearers.