Submitted by The Mahogany Coconut Think Tank and Watchdog Group
The Mahogany Coconut Group (MCG) is concerned that Barbadian school children, can go to the Ministry of Education and have a legitimate punishment enforced by their school’s principal, overturned by a civil servant! Such a travesty occurred recently, when a group of school children turned up at the Ministry of Education, and succeeded in getting a senior ministry official, to overrule the punishment imposed on them, by their principal, for frequently being late in arriving at school.
What transpired sets a very ugly and dangerous precedent that will most certainly, result in far reaching negative effects on the dispensation, of discipline in our schools. The unbelievable actions of the civil servant, dealt a very low blow, to the principal. We know for a fact that many principals are now contemplating if it is worth their while to discipline students.
This brazen assault on our educators is a trademark of both the Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour Party. It is now very clear to all concerned that when party supporters from either side are placed in powerful positions, their inability to understand their job description becomes a major problem.
Whenever administrations change in Barbados, they are followed by shameless attempts to rapidly place party loyalists in top positions in the public service. MCG knows that a former BLP Minister of Education, on his/her second day in office, marched into a senior education officer’s office and demanded that a party supporter, not known for his/her professionalism be “given” a school (made a principal). When the minster’s demands were not met all hell broke loose. We are also very aware that recent appointments to top positions in the Ministry of Education seem to favour those who hold DLP passports. These two political monstrosities have succeeded in effectively ruining the administration of education in our island state.
There are many extremely professional and dedicated teachers, who do not even bother to apply for promotions because they are mortally and professionally afraid of the vicious political exercises that now characterize the ministry of education.
The MCG therefore calls for a full investigation into this matter and wants to know why and how a senior ministry official can overrule a principal without fear of reprimand. This kind of excessive interference with the proper dispensation of discipline in our schools cannot be allowed to escalate. We call on all principals to be diligent and avoid the traps and professional sabotage now being executed at the Ministry of Education. We await a response from Minister Ronald Jones.