Teachers, don’t let them scare you
EVEN THOUGH I AM now retired from the teaching service of Barbados after 38 years of such, I find it extremely difficult to detach myself from educational matters.
It has been my experience that over the years, various leaders in the Ministry of Education have tried to employ scare tactics on teachers using all types of methods. These methods have been challenged successfully by teachers both individually and collectively via their trade unions.
The present Ministry of Education leaders, as former trade union leaders, fought against those methods used then. It is therefore very sad and shocking to see these people utilising the same scare strategies against the teachers.
Threatening pay-docking for a few hours away from school; calling for the names of teachers who attended the union’s meeting, and so on. Teachers, you must not become scared; fight for what is right and fair.
Most infuriating of all is the minister’s rant about teachers brutalising and assaulting children. It is one side for the likes of Peter Wickham to harp about teachers beating and brutalising children, which is pure exaggeration, but for a minister of education who worked in the system to accuse teachers in that manner and in the presence of schoolchildren is pure foolishness and divisiveness.
Teachers, continue to care and do what you have to do with responsibility and reasonableness; no magistrate or judge will be as flippant as our present Minister of Education.
– STEPHEN M. BLANCHARD, Former general secretary, Barbados Union of Teachers