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Moving for a resolution at Alexandra


rhondathompson, [email protected]

Moving for  a resolution at Alexandra

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IN THIS WEEK when we celebrate another Errol Barrow Day to commemorate the sterling contributions of the “Father” of Barbados’ independence, it is perhaps most fitting that Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has vowed to “put children first” in bringing an end to this prolonged dispute involving  the principal and teachers of Alexandra School.
To follow the myriad of interventions from various quarters, including representative unions and associations, the Ministry of Education and also knowledgeable private individuals familiar with wider problems and challenges in our education sector, it is more than time that the Prime Minister seek to resolve this most regrettable impasse.
Without delving further here into this controversy, already comprehensively covered, from various perspectives by THE NATION, it seems evident that unless a speedy resolution is achieved the situation could well worsen, much to the detriment of the students and with negative consequences for more than the Alexandra school.
In the circumstances, it is encouraging to hear the Prime Minister firmly declaring his intention to act in the best interest of the children, even while remaining open to the arguments of the disputing parties.
Burdened as he is with having to contend with other pressing national issues facing his administration, including the yet-to-be-resolved internal “leadership style” problem that recently surfaced among Cabinet colleagues, the Prime Minister has left no doubts about  his resolve to deal with the  specific challenge at Alexandra.
“Over the past few years,” he recalled at a “thanksgiving service” on Sunday in honour of National Hero Errol Barrow, “there have been reports of problems at Alexandra school. . . . I am not interested in what I see as an adolescent exhibition of immaturity by adults on this issue and, therefore, whatever decisions  have to be taken to restore normalcy at the school will have to be taken. . . .”
Good, tough talk, Mr Prime Minister.
Now for the resolution process at the highest level of government. Clearly, the disputing factions will not wish to simply roll over and abandon their arguments in support of their respective positions. After all, they are not mindless individuals, not robots. That, we assume, cannot be a logical expectation of the Prime Minister.
What, however, is certainly desirable, on the part of all sides to this problem that has been commanding the attention of the public, prior to and following the Christmas season of goodwill, is movement from non-negotiable posturings to enlightened compromise.
It would be a pity to view compromise as weakness in this scenario.
As experienced, mature representatives, it is to be expected that all parties to this dispute would be open to finding a practical resolution that could well offer guidelines, not just for avoiding repetition of a similar controversy at Alexandra, but as an adaptable reference for others involved in different sectors of employment.
It could well evolve in time as “The Alexandra Resolution”.

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