Nation e-Edition

PM issues statement on Alexandra

PM issues statement on Alexandra Prime Minister Freundel Stuart (FP)

Fri, November 02, 2012 - 8:45 AM

On June 22, 2012, His Excellency the Governor-General appointed an Investigatory Commission of Inquiry into the administration of the Alexandra School because of problems which were said to be affecting the school since the year 2002.

The Terms of Reference of the Commission were published in the Official Gazette on June 25, 2012 and Hon. Frederick Waterman, CHB, Q.C. was appointed sole Commissioner.  He was assisted by Senior Legal Counsel, Milton Pierce; Legal Counsel, Michael Yearwood; and the Secretary to the Commission, Dr. Donna Hunte-Cox.

Mr. Vernon Smith, Q.C., in association with Mr. Cecil McCarthy, Q.C., appeared as legal counsel for the Principal of the Alexandra School; Mr. Hal Gollop appeared as legal counsel for the Barbados Secondary Teachers Union; and Mr. Guyson Mayers appeared as Legal Counsel for the Chairman of the Board of Management of the Alexandra School.

The Commission conducted hearings from July 2 to August 27.  Counsel made final submissions on August 29.  Thirty-four (34) persons appeared as witnesses during the public hearings.  The date for submission of the Report, originally set for August 31, had to be extended to September 21 because sessions were not completed until August 29.

The Commissioner presented his report to the Governor-General on September 21 and the Governor-General forwarded a copy of the Report to the Prime Minister that same day.  On Monday, October 22, the Cabinet considered the Report and its recommendations, and approved them for sending to the relevant agencies for appropriate action.

Legal counsel for the Principal, the Barbados Secondary Teachers Union and the Chairman of the Board of Management each received a copy of the Report under confidential cover on Saturday, October 27, 2012.

The 111 page Report has made fifteen (15) recommendations based on the evidence presented.  The recommendations are essentially in three (3) categories, namely (i) legislative review, including specific recommendations in relation to the Education Act, Education Regulations and the Public Service Code of Conduct;  (ii) management reorganization of the Ministry of Education, and implementation of the financial recommendations made by the Auditor General in 2006; and (iii) personnel issues including proposals for the reallocation of personnel, and specific action to be taken regarding discipline.

It is expected that the follow up processes will be both smooth and seamless, the first and paramount consideration being the welfare of the students of the Alexandra School. 

In due course, the Report will be laid before both Houses of Parliament in accordance with the Commissions of Inquiry Act Cap. 112, Section 17(3).

As provided in Sections 2 and 9 of the Archives Act, Cap. 19B, the documents and materials resulting from the Commission’s work will be deposited with the Archives Department in the time limited by the Act for the taking of such action.

The public is to be commended for its restraint and understanding during the period of the Inquiry, evidence, were any more needed, of our maturity when challenging situations confront us especially in relation to the preservation of our cherished institutions.

 

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Posted by John Da Silva 1 year, 10 months ago
What did this whole process cost?

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Posted by wayne husbands 1 year, 10 months ago
LEADERSHIP.... the findings and recommendations of the inquiry has not surprised me. i said it all along, Whats troubling is that it took this action to be resolved. i repeatedly said that this should have handled at the ministry level... but it appears that the ties that bind jones and broomes, took precedent over the education of our students and the dignity of our teachers, It will bring about change in the way that the MINISTRY does business, in respect and solidarity to mrs.redman and the bstu.. i commend your professionalism. most of those who opposed us ,would have leaked the findings,but you respected the law and the process and that's just a measure of integrity in your leadership.i nominate you for 'woman of the year" you stood for something,so we didn't fall for anything.

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Posted by Pan Wallie 1 year, 10 months ago
1.To my mind, whenever bed rest/sick leave suddenly becomes so necessary, it is a signal that something is amiss, so that I am not surprised.
2. the comments of a union which has failed in it's duties regarding everyday abuses of the rights and entitlements of civil servants, and which is now ready to raise hell and high water over a man responsible for his own demise, are surely surprising.
3. While the passage and conclusion have turned out to be orderly, it has been costly when we can ill afford, and I still believe the matter could and should have been dealt with in house.
4. I hope the Act is amended without fail, the Ministry is quick to regain some respect and function efficiently. I hope some attorneys are bright enough also to leave well alone.

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Posted by Col Cam 1 year, 10 months ago
Pheww ... finally

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Posted by Carl Harper 1 year, 10 months ago
PM Stuart said he would issue a "statement;" not a decision on the Alexandra School Report this week! And a statement is just what we got almost two months after the Report was submitted.

I am not at all surprise that the statement was released on the very last day of the work week, given Stuart's methodical deliberateness on important matters. We have seen him using the last possible day to announce the date of the St John Bi-Election, and many people expect him to do likewise with the General Elections.

"In due course, the Report will be laid before both Houses of Parliament...." The phrase "in due course" has no definite time period to be debated in Parliament, and with the Holidays and Elections approaching, I am not optimistic of a resolution until the formation of the next government.

While PM Stuart may be giving the Report due process of law, if it is detected that he is using delay tactics or "playing politics" and a decision is not made before Elections, he is likely to pay a heavy political price at the polls for his tardiness.

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Posted by James Sealy 1 year, 10 months ago
Whatever the recommendations are, let's implement them with dispatch. The process has been too long and too expensive but that's what happens when we start wrong. If what I am reading is correct then we will see a new management direction at the Ministry of Education, improved leadership at Alexandra and an Education Act with less anomalies. Let's do this!

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Posted by Tony Waterman 1 year, 10 months ago
@wayne husbands, Pan Wallie!!!! I really am astounded by the callous way you are refering to a man hwose Human Rights and Dignity are being boldly eroded.

there were no preliminary DISCUSSIONS between the two Parties, because Mary Redman as head of the BSTU made it quite clear that she was NEVER goimg to be caught in the same room as Jeff Broomes, even to the point where she did not attend the Meeting called by the PRIME MINISTER OF THE COUNTRY. She was above that.

From day one she took one Stance which she still maintains today as we wait now to see how seamless this part will be.SEPARATION OF JEFF BROOMES FROM ALEXANDRA H.S
Then there is the Sole Commissioner who displayed his ELITEIST ATTITUDE when he CASTIGATED JEFF BROOMES at the HEARING,for pitching Marbles with some of his Students, this was not part of his TERMS OF REFERENCE and as the sole Commissioner he had absolutely no right to give his PERSONAL OPINION on what Mr.Broomes had Done.

I have in more than one instance read of Judges Recusing themselves from cases before them fro MUCH LESS than what Justice Waterman (No Family) had done.

His Recommendations seem to have been writtem by Mary Redman.
and unless Jeff Broomes is Sicker than we all know, this is FAR FRoM OVER.

WE are now on that SLIPPERY SLOPE, and i am waiting with baited breath on MARY REDMAN'S NEXT target for DISMISSAL,oH Yes there will be one.
like Brookk Benton Said "Its just a matter of TIME"

PS:: can anyone tell me where in the Speech That Jeff Broomes made on That Speech day,could one find Mrs Greaves'Name mentioned,??????????

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Posted by nesta marley 1 year, 10 months ago
tony,tony,tony..... it would serve everyone better, if broomes had offered to tutor the kids, rather than pitch marbles, it was manipulation at its highest level, and see how low he stooped to pitch his agenda,,,adults in authority are responsible to raise children to be like them, not for the adults to be like the kids, that my friend is an obvious element in the detoriation of our social fabric

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Posted by David Hall 1 year, 10 months ago
Anyone expecting quick and decisive action from the Prime-Minister on this report should think again. Notwithstanding the fact, that the Prime-Minister has recently been awakened, history shows that his propensity for effectiveness and efficiency with respect to timely and sound decision making is nonexistent. I am convinced that in complex and or delicate situations the PM either does not know how to proceed or, despite his affluent language, lacks the confidence to do so. I refer to the Eager 11; The lighting fast phase 2 and 3 of the Alexandra inquiry; The lethargic response to the CLICO and BAICO policyholders association; The Tourism Boards unheeded request for meetings, The recent latter from the attorney on the Building of the BWA headquarters from MY Gollop, just to name a few.

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Posted by nesta marley 1 year, 10 months ago
when i checked my e mail and read the response, i was sure that it was carl harper....my sincere apologies ... but this is a echo of his style and presentation... one thing i want to make clear.... there was no eager 11... let it go... how come billie and artie could put their differences behind them... but whatever it may or may not be,, wunna gotta keep talking bout eager 11, first theres more than eleven...and all we eager about is winning this election.... leave it to the BIG BOSS FREUNDEL... HE MAY BE GENTLE, BUT HE IS A GIANT..

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Posted by Pan Wallie 1 year, 9 months ago
@ Tony Waterman: exactly what are you talking about?

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