Nation e-Edition

Give an inch

Give an inch MINISTER OF EDUCATION Ronald Jones (FP)

By by Maria Bradshaw | Tue, November 06, 2012 - 12:10 AM

MINISTER of Education Ronald Jones believes a discretionary approach should be taken to uniform rules at secondary schools.

Even though he declined to comment directly on the recent suspension of 265 children from the Graydon Sealy Secondary School because of uniform infringements, Jones told the Daily Nation that the rules were not meant to be rigid.

“Yes, we have now taken decisions that uniforms, shoes and whatever should be of a certain size and style and shape but that does not say that you operate at the periphery.  

“It says that as leaders of an institution, there is a discretion where you operate and if I say that something must be two or three inches in length, if it is an inch and three quarters, once in my view there is what I call decorum, once there is decency shown, I would allow the school to function.”

Please read the full story in today’s DAILY NATION, or in the eNATION edition.

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Posted by Tony Waterman 1 year, 10 months ago
I just don't know what is Going on in Barbados Today with these Government Ministers.
the Health Minister does not want to make Barbados a Police State so, we MAY NOT soon get Breathalyzer Testing
The Education Minister AGREED with the Union representing Principals that there should /would be a defined set of rules governing School Uniforms, now he thinks that there SHOULD be a Discretion.
The Minister of Youth etc.Tabled a Program Mandating that Young People MUst GIve back to the Country, only to find out that there was a backlash from people who rightly was of the opinion that this was Conscription and not Volunteerism, so he rightfully backtracked and changed it.
The Prime Minister handled the Alexandra AFFAIR exactly the same way that Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain handled the Munich Agreement when he exclaimed on Returning to Britain "Peace in our Time" and we know how well that ended.
The Minister of Small Business is a walking Disaster for the Party, his Mouth should be TAPED over.
Can someone/anyone teach them how to MAKE DECISIONS and stick by those decisions through thick and/or thin.
Once i attended an FIH Seminar by the Umpires, Coach a Mr. Brown, and he said something that still stands with me to this day. he said:-If you are RIGHT be CONSISTENTLY RIGHT, and if you are WRONG be CONSISTENTLY WRONG, but NEVER WAVER and be wrong now and right later, you will get NO RESPECT.
perhaps someone should pass that message on these Ministers of Government.

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Posted by Kenneth King 1 year, 10 months ago
This is what I was talking about, because you have the authority to suspend someone does not mean you have no tolerance level in your judgement. Yes if a girl or boy are extreme in challenging the rules by ignoring them altogether but to send home 265 children for an inch or half inch were ridiculous in my opinion, You send these students not for real bad behavior or causing disruption that affects others from learning; so then I ask myself what is, when a student fights or uses his Mobil during studies, what would be his punishment? if a Girl comes to school with her Uniform below her knees that is good enough for me and does not require days away from her studies. Many may not agree with my arguments but we all know before it was worst and the system has come a long way but we have become so intolerable and decisive in our actions. I know that their will be some students who would always be provocative and yes they need that upper hand of the rules put in place but what I've seen here were not that controversial as reported and I think the Principal had gone a step to far.This country has some serious problems facing us in years to come and we need to spend our energies on finding the right education to provide that our future generation be equipped with the right tools instead of these distractions every school year.
We applaud our school Principals for the good job they are doing in making sure they instill the values that will get our young people prepare for the hard World out there but when doing so and we find a Principal step out of bounds I think we have that right to say, please exercise a bit more tolerance.

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Posted by Carl Harper 1 year, 10 months ago
I always felt there should be a "discretionary" LENGTH RANGE for school dresses and skirts, instead of a fixed length - say between one inch above and below the knee, respectively.

School children grow everyday and at varying rates, and a length range would make allowance for that growth. The hem would not have to be adjusted every few months to avoid violation of the dress code, especially if the principal is obsessed with the slightest infraction.

The principal would therefore be able to get on with the business of managing the school and striving for academic excellence, instead of his/her daily fixation on uniform lengths.

Children will no longer have to be preoccupied with whether their uniform is one-tenth of an inch too short and risk being suspended.

Parents would not have to be measuring little Suzie's dress length every morning out of fear that she will be bringing home a suspension letter from an over-zealous principal.

With a rigid fixed length, a dress or skirt that is two inches below the knee this week could be half inch shorter next month, which means a child could almost always find herself in breach of the dress code, if frequent alterations are not made.

Of course, if the uniform goes higher than an inch above the knee, corrective and disciplinary action would be necessary. Should a uniform gets too short using my preferred length range system, this would say to me there is total disregard for the rules by both child and parent, since there would have been enough time to notice the obvious change in length.

Children need to be focused on their school work, instead of suffering constant anxiety over whether they will get into trouble (suspended for a week) over the length of their uniforms. Principals, on the other hand, have a duty to enforce school rules but must develop policies that make practical sense.

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Posted by wayne husbands 1 year, 10 months ago
people speak about the eager 11.. i say that there's a TOXIC 1..This guy is an example of incompetence .Here he is again.haven't learnt anything from the Alexandra episode. it's common knowledge,' give us a inch, we go for two'. the issue here is following rules and instructions,the students are in the process of preparing for life in the working world.Why set guidelines and then support them being broken?this is like setting a speed limit and then supporting "street racing" i pray that those among these young people,who are considering a career in public life, don't take this guy seriously.. It would be better to revisit the dress code and involve the parents in setting the guidelines. when they have been agreed upon,they must be upheld.. what i have noticed in our school system,is that the principals.set out to rule,instead of lead. How can you have a principal telling his students to follow and adhere to the dress code, and the person he answers to.telling the students its okay not to follow the guidelines. i reserve my judgement,because i am a DLP SUPPORTER

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Posted by En Dee 1 year, 10 months ago
While I agree with Minister Jones that a discretionary approach is necessary, I would not have made this statement in public. The Minister has just armed some unreasonable students and their parents to resist enforcement by teachers and principals by citing the Ministers call for discretion. This is unfortunate and will come back to haunt us. Nigel D.

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Posted by Ronald Jones 1 year, 10 months ago
What nonsense Mr. Waterman, which union did I agree with and at what time. I have never commented on the length of uniforms or shoe color or size. I made a statement that students should not be sent home during the day. I further do not support the wholesale sending home of children. Other ways have to be found to resolve issues. Do You realise that the number sent home was about 25% of the student population. Speak to waht you know. I have never met with BAPPSS to discuss any disciplinary matters that is a role for the Chief Education Officer. YOur comments are therefore misinformed but I understand why.

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Posted by Pan Wallie 1 year, 10 months ago
Please!!!!! Go away Mr Jones. When will Mr Suart see that he is not good for the Ministry of Education?

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Posted by Tony Waterman 1 year, 10 months ago
@Ronald Jones!!! I am going to ASSUME that there is only one Ronald Jones in Barbados, and that you are the Minister. It was Reported not long ago in this Said Newspaper (When Mr Farley was Replying to Mr.Crithclow of Harrison College for calling this Episode a Distraction) That there was a Meeting At which this Dress code was discussed, and present was BAPPS Members Incl. the HC Principal and Representatives of the MINISTRY of EDUCATION, The Present AGREEMENT on Dress Code was DISCUSSED, AGREED ON and SIGNED OFF on BY ALL PRESENT.To ask in a CONTEMPTUOS tone which Union you met with is quite Silly, Because as MINISTER Of EDUCATION, you should have been in the LOOP, and should have known what your MINISTRY was up to, this tells me that you are not in complete control of your Ministry. at the end of the day YOU as MINISTER OF EDUCATION ARE RESPONSIBLE. at least you should be aware.
THERE WAS A MEETING AT WHICH DRESS CODE WAS AGREED UPON BY BAPPSS AND THE EDUCATION DEPT.Unfortunately you as Minister of Education was not Informed about this decision and NO my comments are therefore not misinformed but I hope YOU understand why.
PS:- i have no political leanings. i actually detest politics especially "Whitehall Style"

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