Barbadian teachers may well be called upon to account for rising crime as part of the additional demands placed on them in exchange for the benefits and privileges they receive, according to Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education Senator Harcourt Husbands.
In piloting a resolution in the Senate seeking approval of the Public Service (Teachers) Order 2016, Husbands noted that the measure would pave the way for the appointment of a number of temporary teachers employed in public schools across the island.
He also made it clear that demands placed on Government by teachers – including the new appointments -would come at a cost to the educators.
“We have to say to them that along with this new status come certain greater responsibilities. They have more rights and privileges, more stability in their careers, but along with that – I hope they are aware that – it places an even greater burden on them,” the former teacher told the Senate.
“As teachers make greater demands for resources for the educational system . . . taxpayers are going to tie those demands for more resources to demands for results. They are going to say . . . ‘we also as taxpayers, and as parents of children in schools and universities and so on, we want better results.
“They may even say, ‘we want the crime rate to be down. If you’re doing such a good job, you’re so well remunerated and have all these resources, why is the crime rate so high?’”
Husband said the productivity and output of teachers had come under greater public scrutiny and since Government had paid for their qualification, the time had come for them to be transparent and accountable.
Acknowledging that some appointments were long overdue, Husbands said: “There are teachers who are currently in the classroom who are needed by the system, but do not exist, or do not work in an established position.”
A similar resolution to approve the Public Service (Teachers) Order 2016 was introduced and passed in the Lower House on June 21.
In leading off the debate on that resolution Minister of Education Ronald Jones noted at the time that over 400 teachers were appointed up to 2015 – 89 in the secondary schools and 410 in the primary and nursery schools.
“What the Ministry of the Civil Service did, working in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, and ultimately signed off by the Minister responsible for the Civil Service, was to look at the complete nursery and primary school system, and ended up with the establishment of a whole set of posts – I believe just over 700 posts in the teaching service – which allowed 406 persons to be appointed in the established posts, 263 posts were confirmed to move into a changed establishment, and 100 posts of temporary teachers,” Jones said then.
At that time, he said it was also agreed that with six new schools to come on stream, the Ministry of Education would write to the Ministry of the Civil Service to have new posts created if needed.