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Apology not enough, says educator


Jamar Knight

Apology not enough, says educator
Educator Marcia Weekes told parents not to let the issue become another nine-day wonder. (Picture by Shanice King)

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An apology by the Ministry of Education is not enough.

This was the sentiment conveyed by educator Marcia Weekes as she staged a one-woman protest against the use of the controversial survey administered by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Standing on the sidewalk at the junction between Crumpton Street and the Constitution River Terminal in Bridgetown, Weekes gained attention with a large sign that included the slogans “Apology is NOT enough” and “Heads Must Roll”.

Weekes further encouraged commuters to join her in taking a stand to protect the children impacted. She urged parents to “not let the issue disappear after nine days”, and encouraged them to seek further legal action against those involved.

“I would like justice to be served. I would like to encourage parents to take class action suits against the Ministry of Education, the IDB … I’m calling for the resignation of the Minister of Education, the Chief Education Officer, and anyone responsible for approving the survey to be conducted in the schools. An apology is not enough,” she said.

Both Education Minister Kay McConney and Chief Education Officer Dr Ramona Archer-Bradshaw, on separate occasions, apologised to Barbadians about the survey. News of it broke last week and the general public has been applying pressure, calling for resignations and someone to be held accountable.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley also responded to the issue last Friday during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the People’s Republic of China to construct a new National Stadium

“I have said to the ministry that the Inter-American Development Bank must ensure that the situation is corrected with a matter of urgency. I thank them for their quick and rapid apology but I say to them and all others that Barbadian schoolchildren are not to be guinea pigs for people in circumstances where it is inappropriate and exposed them to things that aren’t age appropriate,” she said. (JK)