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Teachers show report card

Yvette Best

Teachers show report card

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Emotions ran high at the emergency meeting of the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre yesterday.
More than 500 teachers from schools across the island, past students of Alexandra School and parents responded to the call to be in solidarity with their counterparts at Alexandra School, who are currently off the job.
Those in attendance heard testimonies from members of staff, who told stories dating back to 2002 of incidents involving principal Jeff Broomes.
Stories ranged from bringing teachers to teach outside of their area of training; conducting interviews for new staff without the presence of the respective heads of departments as mandated by the Ministry of Education; not being informed of changes to the timetable or being given copies of said timetable, and several other issues.
During and after every account, shouts of “shame”, “what?” and “no” could be heard across the room. Teachers were even heard making comments to the effect of: “I couldn’t work there.”
The 30-plus teachers from Alexandra, who have been protesting from Wednesday and members of the BSTU executive carried placards with statements like “Power has fallen to folly”.
Past students from Alexandra also spoke passionately in defence of the teachers who have been criticized on call-in programmes and in the public domain for the stance they have taken since the start of school.
A number of suggestions were advanced about how the image of the teachers could be enhanced and the “truth” of the situation brought out. These included calling into the same programmes and buying time in the electronic media.
The action by Alexandra teachers continues on Monday when they will report to the BSTU’s 8th Avenue, Belleville,  St Michael like they have been since Wednesday.