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TALK BACK: Readers take students’ side in Alexandra impasse

Carol Martindale

TALK BACK: Readers take students’ side in Alexandra impasse

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For the past week all eyes have been on the Alexandra School impasse.
Our online readers have not only been following the daily developments of the dispute involving principal Jeff Broomes and 30 teachers; many have been airing their own views.
While they have commented on the actions of Broomes and Mary Redman, president of the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union, as well as the teachers represented by the union, the majority of readers came out on the side of students of the St Peter school.
They are concerned about students’ education, as well as their performance in upcoming exams.
Just last Friday when it was reported that students had signed a petition urging teachers to return to the school, some readers applauded the move.
Similarly when it was reported that fourth and fifth formers of the school had stepped forward to supervise students in first, second and third form classes, this move was commended by some, while others felt differently about it and shared their views.
Caleb Watson: “Why should the students be held hostage by these professional slackers? The students are doing the right thing by taking up teaching duties.”
Jo-ann B Jordan: “It is unfortunate that it has come to this. Peer teaching is an acceptable practice in the right environment and under supervision of a trained teacher. It is commendable that they are trying to pick up the slack where teachers are not teaching, but without proper supervision, we can run the risk of incorrect information being taught.
“However, in this situation there is a very, very thin line between peer teaching and ‘child labour’ (for want of a better term).”
Ingrid Garrett: “According to the article the students are supervising, not teaching. There is a difference. This situation is certainly not an ideal one but I believe they will learn from the entire experience. However, the message they are sending to the powers that be must not be missed. They are prepared to help save their school. These students must be commended.”
J. McDonald Goddard: “The parents and students of the Alexandra School are misguided if they believe that 15- and 16-year-olds can effectively replace trained competent professional teachers and effectively deliver the curriculum. These students would be better served if they formed small study groups and reviewed all of the work they have covered up to this time.”
Pan Wallie: “I cannot believe what is happening at the Ministry of Educaton. What about the performance of these students who should be soundly engaged in their studies in preparation for final exams? Sadly, the teachers will still get paid and these children will either fail and resit CXCs or possibly obtain lower grades. Besides, teaching requires skills. Tell me where/how anybody in their right mind can find this acceptable.”