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TSC not filling counsellors posts

Thursday, June 13 2013

DELAYS in filling appointments for posts such as counsellors at secondary schools have been due to posts not filled by the Teaching Service Commission (TSC), the constitutional body in charge of appointing school officials, Minister of Education Dr Tim Gopeesingh noted.

During Parliament Question Time, Gopeesingh and members of the Opposition sparred over why the posts have not been filled. But Gopeesingh noted as minister he did not have power to make appointments. As a result, Cabinet has approved hundreds of contract posts to meet the needs of students pending the processes of the Commission.

“Remember, the minister cannot appoint, promote, transfer or discipline anyone,” Gopeesingh said. “As a result we have finalised contract positions to fill the vacancies which the TSC has not. In response to questions from Opposition Chief Whip Marlene McDonald (on behalf of absent Port-of-Spain North/St Ann’s West MP Patricia McIntosh); Arouca/Maloney MP Alicia Hospedales and Point Fortin MP Paula Gopee-Scoon, Gopeesingh said there were 134 counsellors for secondary schools and 63 for primary schools. Of claims that social workers have been sent home, he said, “No social worker has been sent home. The TSC is not appointing and the posts became vacant. The TSC is yet to appoint, despite reminders over a period of time.” He said 343 posts exist. He said a total of contract 782 positions have been created.

On the post of Director of Student Support Services, Gopeesingh said the position is yet to be filled, once more, due to public service issues.

“This position has been awaiting classification by the Chief Personnel Officer and, as such, Cabinet agreed to the creation of the position of Manager, Student Support Services,” he said. The contract post is for three years, “to facilitate the management and monitoring of the implementation of a comprehensive system to support services to students.” “The Chief Personnel Officer is awaiting the determination of the approved employee association/ union by the Registration, Recognition and Certification Board in order to establish a job evaluation committee to finalise the classification process for the post of Director of Student Support Services,” the Minister said.

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