Education officials are preparing to hold a second round of talks with teachers at the St George Secondary School next week in a bid to resolve what the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) says are deep-seated issues plaguing the Constant, St George learning institution.
This follows yesterday’s four hour-long “emotional” session at which BSTU members openly discussed their concerns with the schools’ authorities.
At the end of the talks, held at the Elsie Payne Complex on Constitution Road, St Michael under the chairmanship of the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education June Chandler, the teachers were assured that they would be given another opportunity following next Tuesday’s Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination to further ventilate their concerns.
And in a statement this afternoon issued by the Barbados Government Information Service, the ministry revealed that those talks would take place on Thursday, May 4.
Among the concerns tabled during Tuesday’s meeting, which was also attended by Chief Education Officer Karen Best, Director of the Education Technical Management Unit Richard Harrison and the chairman of the school’s board of management Joseph Holder, were student-on-teacher violence, student-on-student violence, environmental health and safety concerns, general indiscipline and reform of the school curriculum.
“The issues ran deep, it had to do with the fact that the present programme at the school is not meeting the needs of the children and it is causing a high level of frustration both for the students and the teachers. We think that it is directly linked to the ill-discipline at the school,” BSTU President Mary Redman explained following what was obviously an emotional session for both her and her members, as many were moved to tears as they spoke about the hurt and frustrations that they have felt.
Redman also said the visible display of emotion was also attributable to the fact that their concerns were finally being addressed by Government.