A number of teachers are being transferred from the St Matthew’s Primary School where parents had demanded the immediate removal of Principal Barbara Anne Brome-Bailey last term.
However, Minister of Education Ronald Jones told Barbados TODAY this morning that the transfers had nothing to do with the problem that prompted protests by the parents and led to the principal and teachers being summoned to a meeting at the ministry.
In fact, Jones said the transfers were requested by “a small number” of educators and it was not unusual for the ministry to grant such requests to accommodate the needs of teachers and to strengthen the overall programme across the education system.
“There are teachers that requested to be transferred from that school as there are teachers who have requested being transferred from Christ Church Girls. Sometimes people change where they are living and want greater proximity.
“But we try as much as possible to respond to request of teachers for transfers. I don’t know the numbers that are transferred at this stage but this is a routine process. I myself wouldn’t make a mountain out of it at all,” Jones told Barbados TODAY at the Erdiston Teacher’s Training College where he was attending a welcome ceremony for the commemorative Broken Trident.
When Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave visited the Hothersal Turning, St Michael institution last month, angry parents stood outside the gates demanding the removal of the principal, against whom they laid a number of charges, including using students to relay offensive messages to their parents.
“It is not fair as a principal that you are sending messages via children. Children are not messengers,” outspoken parent Sherita Parris said at the time.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Education disclosed that he had backed down from his strong stand on secondary school transfers.
In announcing the results of the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination last month, Jones was adamant that there would be no transfers.
However, he conceded today that a few were allowed after the ministry received about 120 requests, down from the 900 it received three years ago.
“It has not been a problem at all this year and where you have been able to do one or two things you have done those,” the Minister explained.