Categorized | National News

‘Fix Educational Issues Before Accepting Dominicans,’ Says Wilson

Teacher shortages, overcrowded classrooms and possible language barriers are some of the issues Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) President Belinda Wilson said must be addressed before the government makes good on its promise to welcome Dominican students into local classrooms.


Furthermore, she said the issue of immigration, coupled with housing, healthcare and schooling should be addressed also.


While the details are still being worked out in terms of actually accommodating those students displaced by Hurricane Maria, Mrs. Wilson told reporters yesterday that there are already mixed reviews coming in from board members and teachers.


“How many students are we looking at, for how long, what are the demographics of the students, their age, their grade level? I want to also know who will be funding this project and I’m also concerned about the parents. Are they going to be vetted and are they going to be working,” she said.


“The other concern is that the Dominican school system, although they have the same core subjects, their examinations are different.”


The union president hopes the additional concerns will be ironed ahead of a meeting with officials in the near future.


“So, I would like to drill into how is it that they are going to amalgamate with our system or is there going to be facilities made to them to have school isolated by themselves and I also need to know if they are going to be bringing teachers along because you would know we have a teacher shortage. We have oversized, overcrowded, classrooms and a shortage of furniture desk and chairs,” she said.


“It also takes us into the immigration policy, but at this time I’m prepared to give the minister of education and the prime minister the benefit of the doubt and I hope that in short order we will be invited to a meeting so that we will know the short, medium and long term plans.”


Mrs. Wilson acknowledges that while she agrees with the adage, “We are our brother’s keeper,” the ramifications of the proposed agreement must be clearly thought through and laid out.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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