Categorized | National News

Parents Withdraw Kids In Teacher Shortage Protest

Officials from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology were left scrambling to fill teacher shortages at the Inagua All-Age Public School after parents kept their children from school in protest of those shortages.

On Monday, the Bahama Journal was informed that most of the school’s nearly 300 students had not showed up to school by the time classes were set to begin.

According to reports, frustrated parents made the decision to keep their children home after they felt their calls for additional teachers to be brought in to the school were not answered.

Despite the absence of students at school Monday, Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) President Belinda Wilson, said the school’s 18 teachers reported to work and remained at their posts until 3:15 p.m.

Mrs. Wilson said she had spoken to some parents several weeks ago and she gave them her assurances that she would do whatever she could to ensure that their grievances reached the proper channel.

“I brought the problems to the attention of the ministry of education at the beginning of the school year,” she said. “At the time, they [ministry officials] said that they were doing their best to have the teachers sent to Inagua, however, it seems as though the communication between the ministry and the teachers at Inagua All-Age is not very clear.”

In the wake of the parents’ decision to withhold their children from school, the ministry Monday issued a statement noting that it was working feverishly to resolve the teacher shortage issue at Inagua All-Age Public School.

“Teachers have been identified for both schools affected and should be in place shortly. The Ministry wishes the public to know that when vacancies occur a process must take place which includes identifying candidates and vetting them to ensure their suitability,” the statement said.

“This is necessary to ensure that these individuals have the required qualifications and police clearance prior to their appointment. After these steps are taken, the individuals must receive their letters of appointments. In the case of the Inagua All-Age School, the two primary division teachers required reported for duty this morning.”

Mrs. Wilson said that the school needs at least three additional teachers to fill the shortages that exist.

“There are no teachers for grades four and five,” she said. “A lot of times people will look at the numbers and say amalgamate the classes but that poses within itself a difficulty. If it is a GLAT grade it takes away from the focus of preparing the students for that examination. Other times there are different ability levels in the classes so we just want to impress upon the ministry to get the teachers in the school that we need.”

Mrs. Wilson, however, was unable to say whether students will return to school on Tuesday.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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