Categorized | National News

Central Andros Students Protest

More than 200 students at Central Andros High did not show up to school on Thursday and up to 60 irate parents held up picket signs in front of the school in protest to the Ministry of Education’s decision to relocate one of the school’s mathematics teachers.

Parents in Central Andros are at their wits end and after years of witnessing the reduction in staff at Central Andros High School, they are now prepared to stand up to the Ministry Of Education.

Parents Teachers Association (PTA) President Ruthnell Corter said the school has been lacking five subject teachers for years now and this recent decision to further reduce the school’s staff count for a core subject is of great concern to parents and staff.

“We don’t have a music teacher at this school, we do not have a computer teacher, we do not have a carpentry, technical drawing and science teacher at this school, so our children are limited as to what they can do,” she said.

Ms. Corter further urged the ministry to address the shortage of teachers throughout the Family Islands and suggested the ministry amp up its recruitment process or recruit retired teachers willing to provide services in the meantime.

The ministry informed the school of its decision to transfer Dwanesha Dean to North Andros High School last week.

The entire teaching staff and only two students reported to Central Andros High School on Thursday.

One parent Diane Smith told the Bahama Journal that parents will not stand down on this issue.

“When it comes to this part with mathematics and they’re sinking in the parents head that mathematics and language is the most important subject for them to graduate; we cannot allow it this time, no more shortage to the shortage,” she said.

“Even if they have done it before school open we could have understand it because the class would not have been disturbed or interrupted, we are down here fighting and they’re like we’re in Andros let them take what we (Ministry of Education) give them but they got another thing coming.”

Education Director Lionel Sands explained that there was a greater demand for a mathematics teacher at North Andros High School which has more than 400 students.

Quite frankly, he said it simply does not make any sense for parents to protest over the issue and withhold their kids from school.

“The teachers, faculty and a parents need to understand that the Ministry of Education has a standard ratio of teacher to student for high schools and in respect to the mathematics teacher who was removed from Central Andros and transferred to North Andros High, that was done because the need was more critical in North Andros,” he said.

“If there are only two teachers in the school (Central Andros High) then it means they will fully cover the needs of those students for each week. If we were to leave a third mathematics teacher there, it will mean that the third teacher will not have anything to do especially based on what the numbers are and the numbers are just over 200 students. Mathematics teachers as far as we’re concern is much more critical in North Andros where the numbers are higher and the standard ratio is not being met.”

Mr. Sands admitted that there is a shortage of teachers throughout the country, in particular for high school subject areas like mathematics, science and technical studies.

Overall, parents said that they will continue to keep their kids at home unless the Ministry of Education revoke its decision.

However, Mr. Sands, said their protest will not stop the transfer of the school’s mathematics teacher.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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