Despite strong condemnation by education officials, hundreds of teachers have answered today’s call out by their unions.
The action has resulted in the early closure of Government schools from 12:30 p.m.
In a statement yesterday, the Ministry of Education said the move by the island’s two teachers unions amounted to “a clear case of industrial action” .
However, 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 is meeting at this hour with members at the Garfield Sobers Gymnasium while members of the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) have gathered at the Barbados Workers Union headquarters at Solidarity House.
Earlier this week, BSTU President Mary Redman told Barbados TODAY that the incident was among the issues they planned to discuss at the meetings.
However, in its statement yesterday 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.