Ministry of Education and Madness Initiates Transfers

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.

  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. 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?
  4. 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?
  5. Did anyone even bother to talk to parents and students to see how THEY feel about this???
  6. 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.

74 thoughts on “Ministry of Education and Madness Initiates Transfers

  1. 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.

    • @Greene

      The MOE is not an easy ministry to oversee. It has many many legacy issues to fix while contending with modern day requirements.

  2. @ 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.

  3. @David
    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

    • @Sargeant

      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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. @Donna
    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!

    Just observing

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. @ Greene

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

    Just observing

  17. David

    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?

    • @Michael Campbell

      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?


  18. @ 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?

    • @Vincent

      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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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?

  21. @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!

  22. 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.

  23. @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.

  24. @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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. Ministry meeting parents tomorrow
    A SELECT SET of parents are expected to meet with the Ministry of Education tomorrow at the Gymnasium of the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex over the protocols for the resumption of face-to-face classes when the school year opens next Monday.
    Yesterday, the ministry sent out a memo to the schools asking them to provide the names of 20 parents from each school for the special meetings. The choices could be from their respective parent-teacher associations (PTAs) or otherwise.
    Due to COVID-19 protocols and seating capacity, there will be two sessions – each of two-hours’ duration – one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. It is expected that Minister of Education Santia Bradshaw will host the meetings.
    Parents from schools in St Michael and St George are invited to attend the 4:30 p.m. meeting, while parents from all other schools are invited to attend the 9:30 a.m. meeting.
    All parents who will be attending are reminded that COVID protocols will be in place, such as physical distancing, temperature checks and hand sanitising.
    In the meantime, the Queen’s College PTA is inviting parents to an online meeting this week.
    In a Facebook post, the school’s PTA said: “As we get ready for the reopening of school on September 21, we can appreciate the anxiety of many, if not all, parents as it relates to the procedures, protocols and schedules set in place to ensure the safety of your child/ward.
    “We can assure you that the principal, teachers and staff have been working diligently over the past weeks to accomplish this and while there are general protocols set out by the Ministry of Education, each school is different and this fluid situation does not
    require a one-size-fits-all approach.
    “Therefore, it is important that the plans set out must be ideal and specific to Queen’s College. . . .You can expect correspondence from the school in your child’s email this coming week followed by an online PTA meeting where you can seek clarification and ask questions.” (CA)

    Source: Nation Newspaper

  28. More clarity needed on back to school

    “Sitting here in limbo” – Jimmy Cliff

    The second term of the academic year 2019-2020 came to an abrupt close as Barbados entered lockdown in the wake of recording our first 24 Covid- 19 cases. School did resume for a third term that officially started in early May, although online classes had begun in mid-April when the third term was expected to resume. For that third term, the only children allowed on the compound were those preparing for the Common Entrance Exam at primary schools, and secondary school students doing their Caribbean Examinations Council exams at both ordinary and advanced level.

    In the latter case, there was uncertainty as to when those exams would be held, since all of the CXC member states, primarily Jamaica, could not agree on a specific date. Eventually this matter was resolved and the exams were held, but to this date, we have heard no word on the results of those examinations.

    Just a week before the start of the new academic year here in Barbados, this is somewhat unacceptable, since not only do students and their parents want to know how they performed, but sixth-form schools and in some cases universities across the world may be awaiting those results so these students can continue their academic pursuits. We are also curious as to whether there will be Barbados Scholarships and Exhibitions awarded this year. if so, kudos must go out to the students who receive these awards because they had to do their final exams under some very unusual and challenging circumstances.

    The first day of school is always a major milestone for any child or parent, whether it is the first day in reception class at primary school, first form at secondary school, or the first day in university. Will these newcomers be allowed onto the school compound, or will they have to start school from home? The Ministry of Education has published a 26-page document highlighting how schools are to go about their operations in the midst of Covid-19, but as far as we know, this was done primarily with respect to the limited access granted to the students and teachers preparing for exams. We are still unclear as to whether all students are expected to show up next Monday, and whether these protocols, or indeed new ones, will come into the picture if everyone is allowed back.
    There has been talk of ‘staggered hours’, that is, some children coming for morning classes, others in the afternoon, as well as a mixture of online classes and face to face instruction. In terms of the online classes, the Ministry appealed to all and sundry to provide devices for students who may not have been able to afford them, and a host of service clubs, corporate entities and individuals responded to the request. Have any of these devices been distributed to those students said to be in need, or will that be done this term? The whole question of how classes will be carried out is a very important one, since times have changed since the initial lockdown and curfew period earlier this year. Back then, parents and children were both at home, as in some cases parents had been laid off or were otherwise required to work from home.
    There were some challenges then in terms of sharing devices where more than one child at different schools and at different levels of school was present in the home, and when parents also had to use the devices for their work.
    So, what happens now? Not every family has a grandparent or other retired or unemployed relative who can watch their children while they are at work, and some institutions based on the nature of the work they carry out, such as factories, building sites or restaurants, are not ‘child-friendly’ in terms of a parent bringing the child there to relax or do his or her homework until it is time to go home. The ages of the children involved and the times they are scheduled for school are another issue that must be properly addressed, especially in families with children at both primary and secondary schools.

    In the case of a single parent, for example, will an employer look kindly on a mother who may have to take the morning off one day to see after her primary school child, and the afternoon off the next day because her secondary school child is home then? While some secondary school students may be old enough to look after themselves and their younger siblings, will they still be able to concentrate on their schoolwork if they are doing online classes and have to help out the little ones? These are all legitimate questions that no one as yet seems to have an answer for. We have seen cases in other countries where schools have reopened and promptly closed again because outbreaks of Covid-19 arose; let us hope we do not face a similar situation here. But at the same time, we cannot leave parents ‘sitting in limbo’ waiting to hear exactly how the relevant authorities will proceed with the new academic year. The students’ wellbeing and their parents’ financial stability and other factors depend on it, and we would ask employers to be as accommodating as possible to parents who may face issues relating to their work schedule and their children’s school schedule, so that things can run as smoothly as possible.


    Source: Barbados Today

  29. 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.

  30. John
    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?

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. Crusoe
    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?

    Hal Austin
    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?

  35. Parents against transfer of principals

    by Sheria Brathwaite
    Parents at two secondary are protesting the moving of the principals in a recent reassignments of school heads.
    Although it is unclear where they will go, the Weekend Nation understands that the principal at Deighton Griffith Secondary, Anthony Alleyne, and the principal at Frederick Smith Secondary, Major Michael Boyce, have been reassigned.
    A petition is being circulated to get those associated with Deighton Griffith to sign in support of keeping the principal, while the parents of children attending Frederick Smith are planning to stage a demonstration today outside the school. President of the Barbados Union of Teachers, Pedro Shepherd, has signed the petition and said he was confused by the move since principals and teaching staff had started implementing COVID-19 protocols and measures unique to each learning institution.
    No sense
    “I don’t understand the move; it makes no sense to me. Yes, we would have transfers before but we are in uncharted waters at the moment.
    “You have been meeting with principals, teachers and other stakeholders during the summer vacation, asking them to plan for the reopening of school and so on.
    “How could you put them through all of that, knowing full well that you had at the back of your mind that you are going to move them? So that is discussions and negotiations in bad faith in my view.”
    When asked about shifts, Minister of Education Santia Bradshaw referred the question to Chief Education Officer Joy Adamson.
    However, she said the movement of principals was nothing new.
    “There is nothing new about the movement of principals at the beginning of the school term. If anything, perhaps we need to do it a bit earlier moving forward. But principals are accustomed to movement and no principal is expected to remain at an institution indefinitely; that is part of the profession,” she said.
    Competent group
    “I am confident that wherever our principals are transferred to, or acting principals, (or) our teachers have to go, they are a competent group of individuals that would be able to hit the ground running,” Bradshaw said after a meeting with parents at the Wildey Gymnasium to discuss the new changes slated for the start of school.
    Adamson, who was also at the event, declined to comment.
    When Shepherd signed the petition he posted on social media: “I am also signing because it is wrong since there is an agreement in place over a decade now which requires the ministry to give notice of a term (three months) to principals and six weeks to teachers who did not request transfers or who have to be transferred to effect another in cases of emergencies.”
    He told the Weekend Nation the ministry should tell Barbadians the rationale behind the shifts.
    The petition at last count had 2 500 signatures. One parent involved in organising it said the transfer should take place later.
    “During this pandemic the children and parents were able to stay on top of things because of Mr Alleyne. He kept us well informed and up to date about everything. He also has a good rapport with the children and in these uncertain times, the children need to return to an environment of trust and stability.
    “I know that the ministry has the right to do these things but we would appreciate if it was done later in the term and not at the start of school,” she said.
    Parents of Frederick Smith students are also appealing for a similar arrangement. One parent said that they were only told about the transfer last night on a Zoom conference. He said it was important for the parents to take swift action that could possibly effect change.

    Source: Nation News

  36. 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?

    Uh gone!!!!

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. “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.

  41. 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.

  42. @Donna
    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.

    Just observing

  43. ILL-TIMED!
    Parents protest shifting of Frederick Smith principal
    By Rachelle Agard
    A group of protesting parents at Frederick Smith Secondary School want some answers on why principal Major Michael Boyce will no longer be in charge come Monday.
    But Minister of Education Santia Bradshaw has reiterated that no principal is entitled to remain at any one school, and expects them to rise to the occasion at their new school as handovers had already begun.
    Spokesperson for the protesters, Anthony Cummins, said yesterday that Boyce made the announcement during an online meeting with parents on Thursday, which immediately brought an outburst from both parents and students. He added the principal did not say where he was going.
    Children in tears
    “During that time, there were a number of children that cried when they heard that the principal would no longer be at the school. We the parents felt it was a bit too much for such a change in such a short space of time, knowing that Frederick Smith has just gone through a number of challenges,” he said outside the gates of the Trents, St James school.
    Cummins, a principal psychologist at the Centre of Solutions and Influence, said the school was just recovering from the fatal stabbing of one of its own last year and the subsequent incarceration of another student. On top of that, he said the COVID-19 pandemic and all the protocols would cause an additional burden.
    “We definitely don’t agree with it. The question is, what kind of message has the Ministry of Education sent to the public at large? Major Boyce has brought this school within the last three to four years to a position that we are satisfied with, and we think there is no way he should be moved at this time. We think the methodology is wrong,” he contended.
    Strong message
    Cummins added that if their voices were not heard, they were prepared to stage another protest on Monday “to ensure that we send a strong message to the public and the Ministry of Education that you just can’t do business like this”.
    Another protester, Margo Lawrence, said her grandson, who was about to enter second form, had lost his mother while in primary school and his father had a stroke and was unable to work.
    “Since he got here he has settled.
    Yesterday in the meeting and he heard he would not see his principal, that child wailed, he hollered, he cried. He said, ‘No, Granny. Wherever Major Boyce is going, see if you can get me a transfer there, please’. We have to realise it is not only the parents, but it is going to be very traumatic on the children who have come to love their principal,” she said.
    However, Bradshaw said there should be no issue at this time, but people were free to voice their concerns.
    “Principals are not assigned to a school, and I think
    as they enter the profession, they understand the assignments are fluid. There are some schools that require some specialist teachers in a particular area as they do some particular types of leadership. I believe through the Chief Education Officer, that it can’t be business as usual. We have to be able to match skill sets with particular institutions and particular children to be able to get the best out of education in this country,” she said.
    Efforts to reach Boyce were unsuccessful.
    President of the Barbados Union of Teachers, Pedro Shepherd, said such matters were only adding to the confusion on the eve of schools reopening.
    Speaking at a Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB) press conference yesterday, he said: “I know we have some challenges, particularly at the secondary schools. We have some pending transfers. We’re not sure what is happening there really. We were told that some persons were offered transfer letters and they were rescinded. We have some uncertainty at the secondary level in terms of the leadership at those schools.”
    Shepherd, who is also first vicepresident of CTUSAB, said during the summer break principals and management teams had been asked to have schools ready for the reopening.
    “Now you’re putting persons,
    in my view, on the battlefield without any armour for the first time in a COVID environment, which is a new environment and it must be a challenge. If it is a challenge at your old school, I can imagine what it would be when you go to see teachers, students and parents [at another] amidst the confusion,” he said.

    Source: Nation

  44. Santia won’t be tolerating shoddy work
    Minister of Education Santia Bradshaw will not be tolerating shoddy work within her ministry and will be holding accountable anyone who does not pull their weight.
    During a tour of St Joseph Primary School in Horse Hill yesterday, the minister pinpointed the Education Technical Management Unit, saying she was calling “a spade a spade” and would “do what I have to do”.
    “We’ve had some challenges in repairing schools [for the domestic summer programme], primarily with our scope of work. I am not pleased and I must say that we’ve had some major challenges with the Unit and its building maintenance officers in relation to providing the scope of work to be able to allow contractors to know precisely what they are supposed to do. That is something, going forward, we are going to have to rectify as a matter of urgency.
    “It cannot be that people have been visiting schools, problems are being identified and yet we repeatedly find ourselves in the situation where, as the schools reopen, we hear all these issues that the ministry, and the minister, for certain, was not aware of,” she said.
    Bradshaw said she could understand if people needed further training, but if they were not doing their jobs or just not turning up for work, the ministry could not afford to turn a blind eye.
    “I have started the process of documenting where I believe officers have not been pulling their weight. We too often in our society see the problem in front of us and do nothing, but I believe as the leader of this ministry, I must call a spade a spade,” Bradshaw said, adding she had instructed the permanent secretary to do the same.
    The minister said they had been bolstered by the work of private contractors who had done in a week what the ministry staff had not been able to accomplish under her tenure.
    She said continued lacklustre attitudes had to come to an end, and encouraged parents to write the ministry instead of complaining online.
    Unit director Francisco Miller said they are under-staffed and underfunded but admitted there had been some issues with his officers which would be “dealt with”.
    As for the school, it has undergone extensive work and new principal Everton Briggs said he was confident the reopening on Monday would go smoothly. ( CA)

    Source: Nation

  45. Perhaps someone could gently inform Minister Bradshaw that usage of calling a spade a spade is considered a racial slur in some quarters.

  46. 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.

  47. 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!

  48. 😀
    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.

  49. 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.

  50. @Theo
    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.

    Just observing

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