The blogmaster has received a few messages regarding the sudden decision by the Ministry of Education to transfer Principals from some schools. Here is one that captures key concerns arising from the abrupt change. – David, blogmaster
Once again the Ministry of Education and Madness will send schools into confusion with the abrupt, last minute, poorly thought out shifting of plenty Principals and Deputies at the start of the most difficult school term in modern history and after the ad hoc remote emergency whatever they called it last term- See Nation Newspaper Article.
Word has it that Principals of Frederick Smith, Lester Vaughn, Darryl Jordan, Alexandra and Deighton Griffith have been instructed to move on, even though they prefer to stay for now because of the stress and headaches they went through to get their own schools up and running. Word also has it that plenty Deputies are being moved and in at least two cases BOTH the Principal AND Deputy at the same school has been shifted. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
Admittedly some of these schools have had their recent share of trouble, but, others appear to have been doing reasonably well with their current leaders.
Common sense questions have to be asked.
- If a principal or teacher isn’t performing why ignore the problem or transfer it somewhere else? Wouldn’t it make more sense to deal with the problem?
- Does it really make sense to move a school leader at the last minute in the dying hours in the middle of a crisis response?
- How the hell can any one properly assume control of a school, in these “uncertain times” when they are completely IGNORANT of the place where they are being sent?
- If Principals are the “problem,” what about others in the system from TOP to BOT-TOM who are also “problems?” Will they just stay put and continue to humbug the place?
- Did anyone even bother to talk to parents and students to see how THEY feel about this???
- Who’s really making these confusing, chaotic and random decisions in the Ministry? Who??
By the way- is there any truth to reports that there have already been resignations by some members of Board of Managements in protest with more to come this week??? And is it true that some of these moves have nothing to do with the schools but everything to do with “hearsay, agendas and multi-coloured shadows?”
If this is what educational leadership and reform looks like then God help us and our children.
as you know, David, i have never been impressed by this Minister of Ed. from the time she talked about ending the 11 plus without a plan. from then nothing she did or said surprised me. she is a joker.
The MOE is not an easy ministry to oversee. It has many many legacy issues to fix while contending with modern day requirements.
@ Greene at 7 :23 PM
I am surprised by this very late shift in principals.
Surely the Minister does not meddle in the appointments and transfers of staffs. Just thinking aloud.
Wuh yuh want? Didn’t the Minister say that she wouldn’t be bound by practice and tradition?
Didn’t she say that she was trying to modernize an archaic institution and tobesides she has walked the length and breadth of the island with the PM and she knows what the citizens want.
Predictably that attitude has been adopted by the bureaucrats.
Wunnah too like to fight losing battle
Yuh think this is Alexandria? 30 love in wunnah tail
To answer Vincent’s concerns and yours the Minister would have had the blessings of the PS and CEO because the blogmaster has not heard of any request for transfers.
To put it simply, they have been frighten for COVID for so long they gone COVID Crazy and lose all sense.
Since COVID start, too many people have totally forgotten things they learnt, knew and accepted for years.
This is not the right time for sweeping changes. There is already too much change to be easily absorbed.
This is madness.
School children travels will be met with roads that have been severely damaged by this weekend floods
Govt recently spent millions of dollars to have these roads repaved
The pics of the water damaged to these roads are mind boggling
Another reason to investigate how money used from the public purse is spent
Roads newly. Paved is destroyed in less than minutes by flooding
Pictures tell of a govt who run with hot and sweaty solutions to complex problems
So true. That seems to be the crux of the matter
I really doubt that any Principal would request a transfer. Lol.
I am left to wonder what else a 30-0 in our tails might bring!
These are interesting times and the days ahead shall be exciting for those schools who got new post covid leadership.
Some years ago the BUT fought long and hard with a similar transfer of primary school principals and reached an agreement, this allowed for 6 weeks notice when teachers are to be transferred and a term when Principals are to be transferred.
Where is that agreement today?
The was also an agreement where the Ministry would engage and notify the unions should the need for such transfers arise.
Where is that agreement.
There is more to all of this and we shall find out soon why the Minister and her Consultant is trying their best to dismantle what was out in place by Ronald Jones.
Ronald was not my favorite Minister either but he has some sense of what was needed in Education.
This current Minister has no clue.
I fully trust our Honourable Minister of Education. If there is any failure, it is causes by 10 years of blue economic terror (2008-2018), the renegade Presscott or the failing opposition.
We often hear about political skulduggery at Ministry of Transport and Works; Housing; Health etc. However some of the most scandalous skulduggery takes place within the Ministry of Education; it’s usually kept under the radar because many citizens cannot believe that a “minstrel” of “educashun” will Harbour such malfeasance.
Of course when the Ministers of Education foul up(BLPDLP),they always find support from within the public or they engage in divide and rule among the teachers themselves.
It is decades now that the Ministry of Education has been a political hell hole and many well meaning teachers who don’t drink the kool aid of the BLPDLP, know they will never be treated with respect or professional fairness.
So, if this revelation is proven to be accurate, it certainly would not be news to anybody who is aware that the MOE is no different from CBC when it comes to the BLPDLP.
CBC a snake pit.
Ministry of Education the same, from way back in 1959 when my sister was unfaired out of her place at the St. Michael school.
The place probably went to some teacher’s or politician’s duncy daughter.
Expect some resignations/retirements. If I was a principal or a deputy, and I had completed my full 33 1/3 years in the service, and my kids were grown and my mortgage paid off, and with COVID19 around, an unrequested transfer would be the last straw. The Ministry would get my letter of resignation/retirement, not today or tomorrow, but on September 21, the day that school begins.
Sometimes employers forget that they do now own employees, that employees are only selling their labor to the employer. Sometimes employers forget that massa day dun de’d.
Cuhdear BajanSeptember 13, 2020 9:57 PM I big up that comment. Spot On.
Someone let loose with the policy-scattergun? Who let the dogs out? Ruff, ruff ruff.
when i heard people touting this MOE as the next PM and singing her praises i was compelled to pay attention.
i was disappointed. she begin by putting out in public her decision to end the 11plus without a white, green or ‘brown paper’ with the Govt’s plan as to how this would be accomplished and what what would take its place. she was forced to back off and there is still no known plan a year later.
she was stand in PM at or near the early stages of Covid and stupidly shut supermarkets causing chaos. De Madam had to get off her sick bed to calm the nation.
then the off and on decision whether to close the schools during Covid and now this. this MOE needs re educating.
like most of this Govt they flatter and deceive. all hot air
I am one of those who talked about the quiet dignity of the minister during the period she stood in for the president. What I was specific in stating was her presentational skills, the opposite to the bombast and hand-waving and finer pointing. Her style carried authority and at a time like CoVid, that was what the nation needed. Not bullying.
But, and here is the point, I also said she had potential as a future prime minister if she surrounded herself with good advisers. Clearly she has not.
This is not a minor matter. In fact, the future of our educational system is the most important determinant of the long-term future of the nation – long after we are all dead.
This is the point I was making about good advisers, and not nonsense about the 11+. At present Barbados spends just over Bds$7000 per child’s education. This is not enough by far.
We also need to restructure our secondary education, in to sustainable academic and vocational streams, with an emphasis on critical learning and not soaking up information by rote. This is what the CoVid task force should be doing, blue skies thinking, and not crap about BOSS and hostility to the EU when they call out the money laundering and incompetence in our fracture legal system and the abuse of property rights, such as Ms Ram.
We are a failed state which is now incapable of thinking itself out of this crisis. We are in the ICU and the prognosis is not good.
The MoE is a crisis riddle ministry requiring effective planning to minimize the constant and ongoing issues. Covid-19 has only worsened its tribulations, creating as it has a real need for positive change. Instead the ministry’s response has been a piecemeal approach rather than managed change. Make no mistake the early period of change management can be conflict ridden as well as unnerving and stressful for all but once the change agents are inclusive and manage the key success variables well, change can be effective and beneficial to the majority. The MoE’s handling of changes to address critical issues suggests that confusion and ongoing crises will haunt the first term/semester, that children will suffer therefrom and more ‘technicians’ whom the ministry can ill afford to lose will retire as they get tired of the tone on the top promoting 2+2 as 22.
Sadly things are no better in other areas of the country.
Well well well. It seems things are even more complicated and chaotic.
A reliable birdie tweeted thatthe transfers are to take effect on September 21, 2020, the FIRST day of the school for students!!!!
I have to wonder what kind of Education Minister would sign off on something this and potentially mess up so many schools, so many teachers AND so many children all at one time.
Lord come for ya world.
Do you really believe a MoE will get up one morning and decide to transfer principals and deputy principals, people she don’t even know, just so?
I thought ministers don’t have direct control over civil servants, so how the MoE could just look at certain teachers and transfer them?
Did you find out if the transfers were recommended by the education officers after complaints by teachers and the teachers’ unions?
The MOE came out boldly a couple weeks ago to make clear she will be reaching out directly to teachers in order to parley about issues affecting the profession/sector. Even at the risk of messing with establishment procedures. Why should be given a pass now?
@ David Bu
Is that what she said? I thought those meetings were about protocols relating to COVID. Is it fair to extend them to administrative matters such as movement of Staff?
Some criticized her for meeting directly with teachers. Some are criticizing her again for presiding over the abrupt personnel changes. Whether we question the process or not ALL roads often lead to the minister and eventually the prime minister. It is likely this would have shared in a cabinet briefing given the significance of the change. We hope!
The Principals and Deputies could have metlast month to discuss the transitions.
They could have given each other “handover ” tours of the schools to ensure as smooth a transition as possible.
oh and before I forget and a little variance from the topic. circa 1980/81
Dame Billie Miller had a plan in her office to zone schools in Barbados.
My favourite person was tasked by a deputy Permanent Secretary to creat a ” Zoning Map ” using information from their statistical department.
Took 3 days ( weekend ) and was delivered to the Minister as promised on a Monday morning.
so what happened Hants? how did he zone the schools? was the plan to zone, zoned out when they realised all the so called good schools were surrounded by certain areas?
My task was to create the map.
I am not educated enough to figure out how zoning could work in Barbados.
so how did the map interrelate with the schools? sounds like a v interesting task?
@Mr Blogmaster, change is always difficult regardless of timing so the issue is always about executing the change effectively.
The MoE did a poor job of execution!
BTW do u recall what happened at Foundation Girls back in the 80s (?) when the student was killed on premises?
I mention that to note that such a major incident under a principal’s leadership could lead to necessary shakeup … one of these schools did have such a major incident!
But to view on a few of your questions above in the piece…
“Does it really make sense to move a school leader at the last minute in the dying hours in the middle of a crisis response?”
That’s an absolute irony of leadership … if u are an awesome leader then a sudden change is going to be seamless for your organization and conversely if things are bad then a sudden change might be needed and beneficial!
“How the hell can any one properly assume control of a school, in these “uncertain times” when they are completely IGNORANT of the place where they are being sent?”
If the incoming leader is as good as expected then he or she should be able to handle the situation well … ignorance is only of the premises and people but there is supreme knowledge on what is needed to fix problems and get personnel buy-in.
Good leadership is very interesting in that way!
The Ministry was a snake pit long, long before this Minister was born, before her predecessor was born
The Ministry has long disadvantaged black, female, working class, Bajan, children.
Crapaud smoke your pipe if you were not from “town” if you did not have “testicles” if you parents were not land owners, if your parents were not shop keepers, if your parents were simply laborers.
But of course the people who benefited had only praise for that system. Barbados was not a failed state then.
Lord come fah ya world.
@de pedantic Dribbler September 14, 2020 11:20 AM “BTW do u recall what happened at Foundation Girls back in the 80s (?) when the student was killed on premises?”
The student was NOT killed on premises. The student was injured on premises. The student may well have survived were it not for the Jehovah’s Witness belief of those with authority over her. She may well have survived with a blood transfusion.
Similar happened to a cousin of mine. Leukemia, Jehovah’s Witness. No blood transfusion. Dead at 23. Jehovah’s Witness husband remarried shortly thereafter. He lived into his 70’s.
@Michael Campbell September 14, 2020 8:51 AM “I thought ministers don’t have direct control over civil servants, so how the MoE could just look at certain teachers and transfer them?”
Just a few weeks ago I thought I heard the Minister talking about “my staff” and I believe that Brother Caswell gently and publicly corrected her.
But maybe I heard wrong.
On reflection I’m thinking this might be a strategic way to frustrate the select ‘technicians’ to get them to exit the system. Just imagine working under the trying Covid situation to introduce appropriate change system & mechanisms to a school & being told st the 11th hour you are being switched to another school. You are exhausted & operating in a state of flux yet they now also need to familiarize themselves with new staff. No matter how good a leader you are, you are going to have to evaluate your status in the system, your motivation and commitment to continue or not. It’s a good way to frustrate & remove thinkers. The children with invested parents will not suffer from a problem semester/term. Just saying.
Here is the joker from england who was bigging up MsBradshaw during Covid as a future PM over her presentations compared to the according to him the hand waving of Ms Mottley .This joker even suggested that Ms Mottley rushed back from her sick bed because she felt threatened by Ms BraddhawWell well he bigged up Mr Thompson the same way and we kmow how that turned out.Greene i agree with you i too have been unimpressed by Ms Bradshaw thus far and felt she should have been part of the shuffle.Of course she is better than Mr Jones but in my view not much better.Therefore Austin now has to eat crow and climb down from his previous glowing praise of Ms Bradshaw.Nothing as he is a piss poor at judging people.
Who in the Ministry of Education is an expert on Education and School systems or Science or Technology or Innovation?
Is the risk of COVID infection in Barbados sufficiently high that it is reasonable to mandate the social distancing measures being implemented in schools ? Provide evidence.
Just to stir you up a little more!!
The Chief Environmental Officer Mr Chapman has been reported to say that there is no community spread of COVID in Barbados. There has not been a single positive test of anyone in the general population for over 4 months. All the positive cases have been of persons arriving at the airport. At this stage which is greater; the risk of increased transmission of the virus or the risk of educational disparities widening and many children falling behind educationally?
Is the chief environmental officer an epidemiologist? What we want are the mortality figures for Q2 last year and for the same period this year.
Obviously Chapman is echos the position of the public health department.
Ping PongSeptember 16, 2020 5:41 PM
COVID is starting to spike everywhere. So increased vigilance at the ports of entry is necessary. Stringently control and tests entrants. Barbados cannot afford community spread.
A lot of wealthy have run to Barbados already, to hide away for a while, so at least they are spending money.
Devices are to be purchased by government. I recall it being said that it cannot be left to charities.
This is not a normal situation. Some disruption should be expected.
As for the risk of infection – wuh go on in Trinidad? Our risk is low at present but if we relax you never know what could happen.
We have to adjust and bear with the situation. It isn’t easy but this too shall pass.
I am not suggesting that the authorities drop their guard at the ports of entry. In fact given the spike in the UK maybe Barbados needs to be even more stringent. But is there a need to keep children home from school?
7 persons in Barbados have died from COVID and all had comorbidities.
It’s possible for a tsunami to strike Barbados but would it be reasonable to close all the schools on say the west coast because of this remote possibility?
It is believed that Venezuelans entering illegally may have brought the virus into Trinidad.
Sounds plausible. Still think we should move with caution though.
COVID is over, life goes on!!
Just asking for a friend…..
Does the Minister realise the issue isn’t the transfers but the timing and the environment under which it is being done???
Does the Minister truly believe that transferring Principals (responsible for operations) one week before school is just like transferring Ministers (responsible for policy)?
Should general and senior civil servants sit sipping tea patiently waiting and expecting to be moved at anytime a Minister or a Chief feels like??
Shouldn’t stakeholders be taken into confidence about these decisions?
Isn’t consultation critical anymore?
Where are the comments from the technocrats on these and other pressing issues?
Are schools really ready for Monday?
The minister one has to assume is being advised by the Chief Education Officer.
Apparently she does not understand that it is the timing and nothing more.
When an issue like the above is under discussion, just assume a worst case scenario and everything becomes an empty mouthing.
God forbid, but what if the principal died? We move on.
Reductio ad absurdum.
Many who were indispensable had their chairs filled the day after they exited.
The issue here is timing of the transfers to minimize disruption especially at a time disruption has become routine because of COVID-19.
As I see it …
Having said that. We can discuss the politics as much as we want.
Some companies have success planning where if there is a mishap, players are easily replaced.
It should be easy to move a good principal without disrupting the school.
Those who are irreplaceable should be replaced.
That is why we are in this position… Going downhill with giants in key places.
You decide ‘sheer ignorance’ or a ‘brutish and harsh reality’.
Enjoy the day.
The transfer of principals appears to be an issue in the presence/absence of COVID-xx
Too many big ideas. Too many small independent fiefdoms.
Perhaps the MOE need to figure out how to ‘standardize’ most of the tasks performed by principals.
“Every country has the government it deserves.”
Greene asked ‘Are we in a recurring loop?’ If only this was true.
We are spiraling towards our death. I used to say ‘not failed, but failing’. We are almost past the point of no return. Not failed but failure is almost inescapable.
Really. Nobody is saying that anyone is irreplaceable. What we are saying is that too much is already uncertain. Too much has changed. Too much change at once is stressful. These are children we are dealing with.
Now the students at Deighton Griffith started an online petition to keep their principal. He is a man who manages to maintain discipline without overuse of the strap. He reasons with his students and they respect him. Imagine a new principal for whom the strap is the first instrument of correction.
That is stress. These times are already too stressful.
And just because people have to adjust when somebody dies does not mean one should deliberately cause them to experience it.
Next term would have been better.
As n the past so is today. We are in agreement.
A death is an unexpected, unplanned and emergency case.
The Ministry had months to plan how they would deal with this.
The confusion and end result really isn’t good enough.
Perhaps someone could gently inform Minister Bradshaw that usage of calling a spade a spade is considered a racial slur in some quarters.
You cannot lift everything from the USA and just apply it to Barbados.
Someone needs to explain to me what the principal does. I am getting the impression he teaches every class and child.
I don’t get it.
If my child was crying because a principal is leaving then I would be a bit concerned. A teacher, I may be able to understand.
Forgive me folks. I don’t get it.
You don’t get it but I was able to tell you almost word for word what would have been said without hearing or reading any of it.
Elsie Payne was beloved by Q.C. girls. I loved her long before she taught me history for one year. Q.C. would not have been Q.C. without her for me. I would have cried if she left. She was firm, fair and sooooo calm. That calmness had a special effect on you. Once a teacher sent me to her office for something I hadn’t done. I was in floods of tears because I had never been in trouble before. It hadn’t been necessary.
“Have a seat, child!” she said calmly with no hint of accusation in her voice or face. ” Now… what happened?”
She let me tell the whole story without interrupting even once.
“Child, go on back to your class!”
Blessed relief! If she had tried to punish me for something I hadn’t done I probably would have said something to double the punishment. But…she recognised truth when she heard it. I was safe.
When next I was sent to her she said exactly the same words. Again she recognized the truth when she heard it.
That was rare in my experience – and priceless to a child whose mother never could recognise it and who was always accusing her of nonsense she never dreamed of doing and never could be convinced otherwise.
Children usually love good principals. We loved ours so much we called her Elsie behind her back rather than Mrs. Payne. She would have known we meant no disrespect.
This is a stressful time for all students of all schools. Even more so for Federick Smith students. The students at that school are still recovering from the trauma of one student killing another in front of their very eyes. That principal has brought them through to this point. It is madness to move him.
If you still don’t get it you should not let anybody know because it means you have something missing from somewhere. Just like the officials at the MOE.
But… at least you are not being paid for your deficiency!
Perhaps you are right about the deficiency.
I have seen some express admiration and love for a headmaster/principal that I thought was a nasty piece of work.
They are the ones who equate discipline with the rod they took from the Bible. I never had that problem. I prefer reason.
I can guarantee you that today’s children don’t love the pieces of work. Deighton Griffith students are not fighting to keep a piece of work. Mr. Alleyne is more like Elsie – firm, fair and sooo calm.
If my child was crying because a principal is leaving then I would be a bit concerned
Then you would never understand the power of good leadership, or the damage of poor timing.