Minister of Education Ronald Jones does not want to see a repeat of last year’s teachers’ boycott of Caribbean Examination Council’s (CXC) exams, but suggests this island’s educators must be more reasonable in terms of their pay demands.
His call comes on the heels of a recent meeting between top officials of his ministry and representatives of the Barbados Secondary School Teachers Union (BSTU), whose President Mary Redman has been adamant that while BSTU members would continue to assist students in preparing their CXC School Based Assessments for the 2015/16 academic year, they would not correct any scripts unless they were paid to do so.
Speaking to reporters at the Alleyne School in St Andrew this morning, Jones said while he did not carry any pain in relation to the matter, he was anxious to see it resolved and had put forward a number of suggestions to this effect.
“There are still challenges but I don’t want to see what happened last year repeat itself.
“I am always conscious of the students not being aggravated or annoyed, or confusion put in their way as they pursue what is theirs to pursue in any of the examinations, “the Minister said, adding: “I think that reasonable people can sit down and discuss what are the ramifications of their actions or what are the processes that we need to resolve some of these matters.”
The Minister also gave an update on the construction of a number of nursery schools.
He said work should be completed by the end of March at Gall Hill #2, while construction continues at Oldbury Gemswick, St Philip. Two other learning institutions are also on the cards at Holders Hill, St James and Government Hill, St Michael.
Jones said his Ministry was also re-evaluating the placement of other nurseries, in an effort to avoid building schools in catchment areas that do not need them. However, he did identify a need for at least one more nursery school in St Michael, saying Brittons Hill and Deacons were among areas considered.
He also said Government had previously identified land in St James where the old St Alban’s Infants School used to be, but there were issues with that location.