by Adunni Johnson
Hello College Family,
Hope this article finds you well, in good spirits with care and concern for each other.
Are you aware that as of email dated 23 April 2020, it’s been literally 40 days since an official communication from the Dean of the School of Arts Science and Professional Studies (SASPS) or any academic faculty administrator, since the Prime Minister of Grenada requested educators and administrators on 16 March to prepare relevant material and establish structures to work remotely?
An email dated 13 March 2020 was sent to the School of Continuing Education (SCE) and SASPS inviting the faculty and staff to a meet on the 16th and 17th respectively, which did not materialize.
- Official communication refers to the transmission of information via an established media or any meeting that can at least be substantiated by dated minutes. Can we say that there is true concern or empathy in our management?
- School Based Assessment (SBA)/Internal Assessment (IA)
Note the situation at present:
(a) The SBA/IA at the CAPE level is a research project that requires the collection of primary data which definitely would have been impeded by the closure of school and the continued states of curfew.
(b) In light of the following :
- Banks and financial institutions are giving financial moratoriums
- Central banks are slashing interest rates
- Governments assisting private sectors institutions with their wage bills
- From the table, it should be noted that the original deadlines for the submission of said SBA/IAs ran from 23 March to 2 April.
As concerned stakeholders of the college and the wider society, let us evaluate the SBA/IA parameters and what is expected of the students that are expected to produce an SBA.
Original SBA/IA submission dates
|Mon 23 Mar||Com studies|
|Tue 24 Mar||Ent unit 1 & 2|
|Wed 25 Mar||Geog unit 1 & 2||Law units 1 & 2|
|Thu 26 Mar||History unit 1 & 2||Lit unit 1 & 2||Art and design 1 & 2|
|Fri 27 Mar||Soc unit 1 & 2||Acc unit 1|
|Mon 30 Mar||Cas||Mob unit 1 & 2|
|Tue 31 Mar||Env unit 1 & 2||Mob units 1 & 2|
|Wed 1 Apr||Bio 1 & 2||Lab books to be submitted|
|Thu 2 Apr||Chem unit 1 & 2||Lab book to be submitted|
|Fri 3 Apr||Physics units||Lab books to be submitted|
Taking into consideration the Prime Minister announced a 21-day limited state of emergency that went into effect at 6 pm on 25 March and further increased to a 24-hr daily curfew from 7 pm on 30 March to 6 April, with few exceptions citizens were confined to their places of residence for said period. Moreover, the government of the land correctly enacted other regulations under the state of emergency, including cancelling all gatherings and social events, giving expanded authority to the police to close almost all businesses.
Further to email dated 23 April 2020 which established that students have until Monday, 27 April at 11:50 pm to submit SBA/IA and that in order to get permission to submit your IA/SBA you will have to pay a late submission fee using the following option:
- Republic Bank a/c # 102741
- Direct deposit a/c # 102741 (Republic Bank)
- Transfer payment online using FCIB # 102741
We can recognise from the table labelled Exhibit A, students clearly were not allowed the TOTAL allotted time to collect and process the relevant data for the preparation of the SBA/IA as a result of the closure of school dated 13 March, limited sate of curfew, extended 24-hr curfew and continued state of emergency that has left most businesses closed to date.
A further question to the true stakeholders such as parents, college administrators, lecturers and the wider society;
How can we as a college, as per email dated 16 April 2020 from the acting Registrar of exams, establish that students will incur late fees of EC$50 each?
The college administration with its extended power is undoubtedly unconscionable among other things, to demand of students to pay fees for late submissions for SBA/IA to financial intuitions.
It is without a doubt that lecturers have been engaging their students, albeit without any standardized platform or any formal direction from management, as it relates to delivery of courses, approach to semester dates, and a standardized approach towards the potential establishment of grades.
With all this, we know all is not lost because as educators we embrace teaching as the means to touch lives forever.
As per the first official communication from the Dean of SASPS, in the form of a memo dated 23 March, it marks 40 days as of 16 March since the Prime Minister’s directive to administrators to prepare. At present we are only now receiving instruction regarding delivery of course, compilation of grades, and submission of grades, etc.
This in itself coins the phrase putting the cart before the horse. Moreover, the known fact that lecturers have been engaging students should not give anyone the moral high ground to exact final grades, especially after a 40-day miraculous hiatus of absolute non-engagement.
One of our many roles is to evaluate and to benefit from a standardize teaching and learning process even in these trying times but it should not be one where we are required to manufacture grades, further noting that school has been closed since the 13 March with the suspension of public transportation to date and no access to physical school files etc. As such this whole approach reflects pandemic management.
Who really would have given the college Administrators extended power to disenfranchise college students and family?
I am truly sorry if the message from this article may sabotage the politically correct, politically polite, and plainly speaking, the compromised, but I felt obligated to constructively highlight the approach in the college.
I am speaking as a lecturer and the President of the Lecturers Association, as such I felt compelled to shine a light objectively with regards to the management approach at the TAMCC. Help!!!