Cabinet has approved the Alexandra School Commission of Enquiry recommendations and it’s now up to a number of unspecified Government agencies to take “appropriate action” on them.
But despite this announcement late last night from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, it remains unclear the exact time frame in which expected administrative changes at the St. Peter institution will be made.
In a statement made one day after Barbados TODAY informed Barbadians about the contents of the commission report, including a recommendation that Principal Jeff Broomes be given his marching orders, and that the Ministry of Education’s management be shaken up, Stuart also said sole Commissioner Frederick Waterman’s document would be laid in both Houses of Parliament “in due course”.
“The commissioner presented his report to the Governor-General on September 21 and the Governor-General forwarded a copy of the report to the Prime Minister that same day. On Monday, October 22, the Cabinet considered the report and its recommendations, and approved them for sending to the relevant agencies for appropriate action,” he said.
“Legal counsel for the principal, the Barbados Secondary Teachers Union and the chairman of the board of management each received a copy of the report under confidential cover on Saturday, October 27, 2012.
“The 111 page report has made 15 recommendations based on the evidence presented. The recommendations are essentially in three categories, namely (i) legislative review, including specific recommendations in relation to the Education Act, Education Regulations and the Public Service Code of Conduct; (ii) management reorganisation of the Ministry of Education, and implementation of the financial recommendations made by the Auditor General in 2006; and (iii) personnel issues including proposals for the reallocation of personnel, and specific action to be taken regarding discipline,” the Prime Minister added.
He said it was “expected that the follow up processes will be both smooth and seamless, the first and paramount consideration being the welfare of the students of the Alexandra School”.
“As provided in Sections 2 and 9 of the Archives Act, Cap. 19B, the documents and materials resulting from the commission’s work will be deposited with the Archives Department in the time limited by the act for the taking of such action,” Stuart added.
“The public is to be commended for its restraint and understanding during the period of the inquiry, evidence, were any more needed, of our maturity when challenging situations confront us especially in relation to the preservation of our cherished institutions.”
The Barbados Secondary Teachers Union has already welcomed Waterman’s recommendations, with President Mary Redman saying its members at the Alexandra School, who have long been at odds with Broomes, should feel vindicated.
The National Union of Public Workers, which is representing the principal, has not said much. President Walter Maloney said his organisation would await word from Stuart, but in any event it intended to fight for Broomes’ rights.
In addition to recommending that the principal no longer be associated with the school he has headed since 2002, Waterman, who presented his report to the Governor General on September 21, also suggested that Deputy Principal Beverley Neblett-Lashley be transferred, and that four other members of the school’s teaching staff either have their posts terminated or be transferred to other schools.
Waterman also recommended that Amaida Greaves, the teacher at the centre of the most recent industrial unrest at Alexandra School, be given a written reprimand and that any other action against her be taken by the appropriate authority responsible for her employment and discipline. (SC)