Eyes on YOU President Pedro Shepherd

Submitted by P Seale

Back in September some teachers were trying to get on the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) council. Pedro Shepherd was trying to get re-elected. The headline in the Nation was SLATE SET FOR DLP ELECTIONS.

Years ago public officers couldn’t be in anything so. Mr Shepherd’s friends Dwane Goddard and Trudi Harris followed him. Quincey Jones from Ellerslie was another teacher in the elections.

I want to know if the law was changed for public officers to be doing these things. Somebody has to know the answer but no one wants to speak up.

I realise the BUT called a meeting at last. They weren’t saying anything much until I wrote Barbados Underground.

Related Link:

President Pedro Shepherd Accused of Lacking Integrity

The general secretary said appointments for secondary school teachers were coming. They remembered they have members in the secondary schools. It looks like you have to force these people to remember.

Three of the BUT officers have called a meeting for Sunday. Is it a union meeting or a meeting with people who are on the executive? These people make me laugh. They tell members about being strong together. Then we see that they are not united.

4 comments

  • Postpone common entrance, CXC sitting – BUT
    With the country moving into another full-scale lockdown, the head of one teachers’ trade union has suggested the Minister of Education defer the Barbados Secondary Schools Entrance Examination (BSSEE) and the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC)’s May/June sitting.
    In an interview with Barbados TODAY, President of the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) Pedro Shepherd declared on Friday the union wants realistic targets set for the remainder of the school year, as a gruelling second wave of COVID-19 keeps students away from their physical classrooms.
    Students have lost almost a year of “proper” teaching owing to inadequate infrastructure for online instruction, he declared.
    Shepherd said many students lack devices, several are simply refusing to show up for online class and others lacking supervision are being disruptive.
    He said: “I have said from the outset of this pandemic that we might need to suspend the entire school year. We are now eleven months into the pandemic and have we seen any letting up of the spread of this virus? No, rather we are seeing increasing numbers of cases and variants to this disease.
    “While I accept that our students must be educated and our teachers must educate them, it is my unblemished opinion based on what I hear from my colleagues and witness for myself that both the BSSEE and CXC examinations should be deferred. We have literally lost a year of proper schooling.
    Why are we forcing the issue?”
    Education Minister Santia Bradshaw on Thursday declared that while educators have acknowledged the difficulty of the moment, they have also committed to keeping students in an online environment during the 15-day shutdown period.
    Bradshaw also revealed that as her ministry attempts to get 9,000 devices imported, it is also outsourcing laptops, tablets and MiFi dongles for teachers and students to continue their classes.
    “Many of the devices have already been distributed to the ITCs which we’ve had to configure,” said the education minister.
    We have a couple more coming into the island. Over the course of the next few days, and certainly, during the lockdown, the anticipation is that we will have all the devices configured and be able to distribute to students and teachers who may not have devices.”
    Bradshaw is said to have not ruled out a full-scale repeat of the current academic year but is awaiting word from civil servants on the level of progress made in covering this year’s syllabus.
    The BUT president admitted there are more students online now than when online teaching first started last March but said he is concerned about the levels of absenteeism Shepherd told Barbados TODAY: “I am not sure of the exact numbers but I think it is significant enough for us to be worried that even though ample devices have been distributed by the government, students are still not availing themselves for classes.
    “Of course, some might have legitimate excuses, but we are seeing patterns where some students are not coming online for days. We still have some who were issued devices and who have not been online since September last year.
    “Some students continue to be disruptive in classes, but we have found the remedy for those who don’t want to learn and who obviously are not being supervised by an adult. As for those who are distracted by the environment in which they are operating I am not sure what can be done, but teachers are speaking to parents and guardians on all of these issues.”
    (kareemsmith@barbadostoday.bb)

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  • Teachers slam BUT head
    Several teachers have taken the president of the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) Pedro Shepherd to task over his complaint that they have not been included in the list of front-line workers to be inoculated with the first batch of 100 000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines.
    A number of teachers who contacted this newspaper charged that the union had no conversations with the teachers about the vaccination and as a result could not speak on behalf of the larger group.
    One teacher noted: “As a member of the Barbados Union of Teachers, I found the recent comments made by the president to be reckless and downright selfish because as a member for my 12 years of teaching, there was no form of communication with regards to questioning how the members actually feel about being vaccinated, and I have asked many other colleagues who have also said that no communication was made to them in this regard. So he is not speaking for ‘members’. Clearly, he is speaking for himself.”
    The majority of those teachers also said they preferred the vaccinations to be given first to persons who actually interact with the public on a daily basis.
    “I have no issue with taking the vaccine. However, I feel it should be given to front-line workers and those individuals who really need it first,” said a primary school teacher.
    Another added: “I do not believe it is necessary for teachers to be the first set of people to take the vaccine as there are persons out there who need it more. The front-line workers, those who care for the elderly and those who are more susceptible to die as a result of contracting COVID should be entitled to the vaccine first.
    Pointing to the online teaching, a senior teacher said that for the time being there was no urgency for teachers to be vaccinated.
    Safest arrangement
    “As a teacher, I do not believe it is necessary to consider the vaccine immediately as we and our students are working from home in the online environment, which is
    the safest possible arrangement at this time.”
    Another concerned teacher said all categories of school staff would also have to be vaccinated.
    “If we are thinking about vaccination in terms of reopening of schools, then we will have to consider vaccination of the entire school population inclusive of teachers, students, administrative and ancillary staff in order to achieve some level of immunity.”
    A senior teacher added: “We are working online at this time and there are other persons working in the front-line that are much more exposed to the dangers of COVID.’ I’m not interested in the vaccine at this time. In my opinion, there is still too much that is unknown about it”.
    Shepherd still received some support among teachers who said they wanted the vaccination.
    “I am open to taking the vaccine, and I believe that other teachers who are also open to the vaccine should be among the first to get the vaccine to protect ourselves,” one teacher noted. A colleague added: “I will be taking the vaccine and if we are to go back to work I believe all teachers should take it.”
    In response to Shepherd’s remarks, Chief Education Officer Joy Adamson said that no plans were currently in place to vaccinate teachers in the ongoing roll-out, which would see about 50 000 receiving the first and second doses of the vaccine. (MB)

    Source: Nation

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  • Eyes on you Women on this International Women’s Day

    In todays Society Housewives are not given their rightful due respect as the designers and builders of a future generation
    Most of the time they are looked upon as being insignificant and beholding to what they have learned from their parents and are meek mannered and unwavering in an antiquated way of thinking
    Today on international day i prefer to shine the spotlight on Woman who might have been quiet and contented to be the builders of society dedicated to being vigilant and being satisfied in the role as being the best parent Ever
    Cheers and Happy International Woman’s Day to all you strong and dedicated Women who choose the profession of being a Parent

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  • Increase in national wage after ten years shows a miniscule amount so small added to the 6.25 that those who supports the increase by 2 25 ought to be ashamed
    Actually annually is about 23.5 cents increase per year over a span of ten years
    Yes I say ten years because this figure would cover a ten year period going forward

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