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‘No great loss’ to students

Yvette Best

‘No great loss’ to students

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THURSDAY’S INDUSTRIAL action by teachers resulted in students missing up to three periods of instruction.
Noting that the action taken by the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) was not as “challenging” as some thought, president of the Barbados Association of Principals of Public Secondary Schools (BAPPSS) Winston Crichlow said teaching was still conducted.
“We would have had a few instances where students may not have been taught a particular subject, but they were advised to spend the time revising . . .  engaging in productive pursuits.
“From what I gathered, out of a seven-period day you might have had a student getting maybe at most two or three periods where there was no teaching. But for the most part, you still had teaching going on, so the students weren’t largely disadvantaged,” Crichlow told the SATURDAY SUN yesterday.
Teachers may be off the job again on Tuesday, for an indefinite period, if Chief Personnel Officer Gail Atkins does not comply with the Monday deadline the BSTU has given for a response to its call for a meeting.
Crichlow said schools will have to do what is necessary if another strike is called.
“The most we can do at this point in time is to continue to manage the schools as best we can, with the staff we have,” Crichlow stated. “That matter is clearly out of our hands, so we have to wait and see how matters unfold.
We continue to hope that the impasse can be settled sooner rather than later.”
Crichlow added: “I’m sure that moves are being taken by the concerned parties to bring closure to the entire affair.
One can appreciate fully the anxiety of the entire society, not just parents.
We can only but hope that commonsense and reasonableness will prevail in this entire matter.”
More than 200 teachers from at least 15 institutions came out in solidarity with colleagues from Alexandra School to picket Atkins’ offices on Thursday. They are pressing for the separation of principal Jeff Broomes from the school.
The wider membership of the BSTU was back in the classroom yesterday, but Alexandra teachers were off the job for the eighth straight day.