All Government schools are to be closed from 12:30 p.m. tomorrow in response to what the Ministry of Education is calling “a clear case of industrial action” by this island’s two teachers’ unions.
Following last week’s incident at Ellerslie Secondary School in which a teacher was reportedly spat on and kicked by a third form student, the Barbados Union of Teachers has scheduled a meeting for its members for 1p.m. tomorrow at the Garfield Sobers Gymnasium.
Half an hour later, members of the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) are due to gather at the Barbados Workers Union headquarters at Solidarity House.
BSTU President Mary Redman told Barbados TODAY yesterday that the incident was among the issues they planned to discuss at the meetings.
However, in a statement this evening, the ministry roundly condemned the unions’ action, saying it considered it to be “a clear case of industrial action”.
The ministry also said it was unclear as to the reason for the call out, even though both unions have publicly stated that they intend to deal with the general problem of violence in schools, as well as other pressing problems.
“The ministry intends always to act in the best interest of the students and teachers and any action and activity which compromises this must be condemned,” the statement issued by the Barbados Government Information Service added.