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Parents head to Ministry for transfers

Barry Alleyne

Parents head to Ministry for transfers

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More than 120 angry parents of students of the Alexandra School gathered at the headquarters of the Ministry of Education early this morning, preparing to officially apply for transfers for their children from the St Peter School.
The parents pooled together in cars around 10.40 a.m, abruptly attending a Parent Teacher Association meeting at the school, and immediately heading to the ministry’s offices, after president Carl Benskin received a phone call from a ministry official, informing him president of the Barbados Secondary Teachers Union, Mary Redman had refused to attend a meeting earlier arranged by the Minister of Education, Ronald Jones, and which would also have included Minister of Labour, Esther Byer-Suckoo, Attorney General, Adriel Brathwaite, and Parliamentary secretary in the Prime Minister’s office, Senator Harry Husbands.
The parents had originally planned, and had received police permission to picket the ministry’s offices on Friday, but fast-tracked their action, after the BSTU chief opted not to take part in today’s last ditch efforts at solving an impasse that has left more than 800 students without teachers since the first day of the second school term.
Thirty minutes after the parents arrived, they were invited into the ministry’s conference room, where Chief Education Officer, Laurie King, assured them the ministry was doing everything humanly possible to bring a resolution to the situation.
In response to a question from the parents’ spokesperson Stacy Briggs-Saunders, King said providing temporary teachers to the school remains a possibility, but noted that such a move may prompt stiff opposition from Barbados Secondary Teachers Union.
“I can assure you that everything humanly possibly is being done. Every effort will be made to make sure this time will be made up for the students,” King promised.
Ministry officials also confirmed they were in receipt of a copy of a number of emails, purported to have been sent out by teachers on the social network Facebook.”I’m hoping it won’t come to the point where parents have to seek transfers,” King added.