Nation e-Edition

Teacher should have been penalized

By Claire Small-Warner

| Fri, January 25, 2013 - 12:00 AM


In Barbados today, rules can be broken without penalty and direct orders can be disobeyed without any form of discipline.

It also seems to me that the policies and procedures governing industrial relations, collective bargaining and so on are taking a beating and some of us who should know better seem to be turning our heads the other way. As far as I am aware, if you are given a direct order by your boss, you should carry out that order except if you, the receiver of that order, feel or know that in carrying out that order, it will be detrimental to you or others.

Other than that you should carry out that order and, while doing so, lodge your complaint or protestations in writing to the relevant authority following the proper procedures.

Subject to correction, the letter of complaint that was sent to the Ministry of Education by the principal of Alexandra School was specific in nature about the refusal of a particular teacher to teach classes assigned.

The teacher in question would have been spoken to and received warnings. That teacher should have been disciplined for disobeying a direct order, first and foremost. Did the teacher follow the grievance procedure?

The complaint from the principal and the complaint from the teacher (if there was one) would have been investigated by the relevant authority and decided upon, following proper procedure.

However, other distractions came into play from the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) concerning the principal’s behaviour and management style.

Will those teachers who are not working under the memorandum of understanding disobey direct orders from the Ministry of Education? Will they set a precedent for others to follow? The preceptor at the centre of this chaos should have been disciplined and this, in my opinion, is where everything else started.

If disciplinary action was taken, then the BSTU could have started or continued with their grievance procedure against the principal. They started wrong in trying to defend disobedience from one of their members and they will end wrong.

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Posted by stephen nicholls 1 year, 9 months ago
Steeped in ignorance of the facts. NO letter of complaint sent by the principal was ever received by the Ministry until January 2012 - 8 months after the alleged incident! That much has been confirmed emphatically by the Chief Education Officer. The complaint of a teacher refusing to teach a class for an entire term was given to the Ministry more than a month after the public broadcast of the allegation at the Speech Day in December, 2011. And only after it was demanded by the Ministry in the aftermath of the specious allegation which, by the way, the Commisssion has found "to be inaccurate"! You should also acknowledge that the grievance procedure to which you refer "MAY" (vs "shall") be used and applies only to grievances brought by individuals as opposed to a Union, which was the case in this instance. Knowledge of facts is significant when advancing any argument. So many seem to ignore this.
Posted by shabizz asban 1 year, 9 months ago
i attempted response. and it was not accepted claiming that it was 30 characters over the limit. it was a detail account . i am not chalenging the count, however the process could be improved to facilitate the overun.
Posted by shabizz asban 1 year, 9 months ago
even after it has been documented by the enquiry that there was no evidence to support the claim that 'the teacher did not teach"we continue to bombard our readers with this issue.the writer is critical of the pratices 'in barbados toy,etc.yetshe has no regard to the legal process that was put in place and came up with findings and reccomendations by 'the waterman inquiry' the real issue is not the writer, but the decision to publish the letter,which lies with the editor of the nation... it appears that anything that may support their political idealogy is given preference by the nation. but opposing letters are not featured. one event to support my statement, how can an article published almost a year continue to be on the most read list,"the eager eleven" an issue that has not been verified or justified,
Posted by shabizz asban 1 year, 9 months ago
If that teacher did not teach, i would agree with you, but the inquiry revealed that this statement was unfounded.
Posted by wayne husbands 1 year, 9 months ago
i agree with wayne on this issue
Posted by Leonard B 1 year, 8 months ago
Is there any truth to the allegation that letters which were sent or personally delivered to the M.O.E. were not acknowledged and that no one ever admitted to receiving them? This situation is serious and warrants a detailed review. Establishing this is the only position from which we can go forward with charges or condemnation. Nigel D.

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