Categorized | Featured, National News

Minister Urges Teachers To Return To Classroom

Jeff Lloyd Cabinet _3902

Minister of Education Jeffery Lloyd urged teachers of the C H Reeves Junior High School to return to the classroom after more than a week sit out staged by the teachers who decried a litany of environmental health concerns. 

During his address in the House of Assembly yesterday, Mr. Lloyd cautioned the teachers taking part in the industrial action, particularly as he stated they did not follow protocol to give prior notice before withdrawing their labour. 

“The Ministry expresses disappointment at the actions of the C.H. Reeves teachers, who have blatantly ignored the grievance procedures outlined in the Industrial Agreement between the Bahamas Union of Teachers and the Bahamas Government,” Mr. Lloyd said. 

As for the issues, the cause for the sit out, Mr. Lloyd said that the Ministry of Education requested the assistance of Mr. Anthony Ryan of the Environmental Monitoring Risk Assessment Division at the Department of Environmental Health,  who made an assessment of the affected classrooms and found what he described to be ‘recognized environmental concerns’, including in particular, dust and accumulated dirt. 

“He subsequently formulated a prescription to rectify those issues. Acting immediately upon the recommendation by Mr. Ryan, the ministry of education engaged the services of a contractor, who conducted the remediation process, this included the removal of mildew, the cleaning of dust on ceiling beams, the cleaning of air-conditioned units, window sills and elsewhere,” Mr. Lloyd said.

“They have also disregarded the expert opinion of those at the Environmental Monitoring Risk Assessment Division. Most of all they have reneged on their responsibilities and neglected the education of our youth, the future of our nation,” Mr. Lloyd added.

Mr. Lloyd pointed out that the students will lose out on crucial class time as a result of the teachers sit out that went into day seven yesterday, adding that the curriculum in the public school system requires a minimum of 196 contact and instructional days, but ch students preparing to sit the Bahamas Junior Certificate exams in six months time, are already at a loss

“It has been observed that in most school years or academic years of recent times the Ministry barely squeezes in 176 days, 20 days less than the ideal number.

“So, it is then a continuing hazard to the elegant development of our children in this phonetically advancing global community where the competitive advantages can only be assured with a properly trained skilled and educationally equipped population. 

“This issue is being addressed, so when incidents of this industrial nature happens, our children are severally challenged in having their educational needs and ambitions met and addressed,” Mr. Lloyd said. 

According to the Minister, despite the fact that there was an agreement between the Ministry and the Bahamas Union of Teachers, teachers still did not work accordingly

“To accommodate the additional repairs, executives of the Department of Education in conjunction with the school’s administrative team, decided that the school would temporarily operate on what is known as the staff meeting bell schedule. 

“This means that classes would be dismissed at 2pm daily until the repairs would have been successfully completed. However, on Monday, November 5, teachers again abandoned their post, leaving students dangerously unsupervised,” Mr. Lloyd said. 

Mr. Lloyd added that a meeting was scheduled with the BUT and the Ministry, but the Union did not show up and up to yesterday the Ministry had no additional word from the Bahamas Union of Teachers.  



Written by Jones Bahamas

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