Submitted by Paula Sealy
Are there still only two social workers and one senior psychologist working in the education ministry for all the secondary and primary schools? In 2018 the Prime Minister announced that a special scheme would be implemented which would see the introduction of school safety officers, social workers and guidance counsellors. No wonder the guidance counsellors were under pressure back then (https://barbadostoday.bb/2019/03/26/too-few-school-counsellors/).
An ad for guidance counsellors was placed in the Gazette two years ago (Volume 154, No 69, p 970, Aug 26, 2019).
Since then the Minister of Education said that her ministry had placed ads for school safety officers and guidance counsellors for the start of the school term (Barbados Advocate, Safety officers to be hired, 5 Sep 2019, p3).
Two months later, schoolboy Temario Holder was killed at Frederick Smith Secondary School but that has not been enough to get one safety officer posted in one school in Barbados. We got a non-violence march led by the minister shortly after that and COVID monitors since then.
Last week there was some news on the extra guidance counsellors (https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/08/13/additional-counsellors-in-schools-from-next-term/).
The ads for social workers were in the Gazette two years ago (Volume 154, No 71, p 1014, Sep 2, 2019).
Students graduate every year from Cave Hill with degrees in Social Work. Many of them find it hard to get jobs where they can use their degrees and training. They are qualified and there is a need for them. Are they capable of working in our schools today?
The social workers have already spoken (https://www.barbadosadvocate.com/news/put-social-workers-schools).
Where are the school safety officers and social workers today?
SCHOOL SAFETY IS A JOKE Wilkie Cumberbatch Primary in Lascelles Terrace has been condemned. And the principal from there died last year. Now the management and the staff are scrambling like Winston Hall in the St. Joseph gullies hiding from the police (https://fb.watch/7uXoi2snD3/).
Santia Bradshaw was the MP for the area since 2013 and the Minister of Education since the last elections. BUT president Pedro Shepherd was at Wilkie for more than 30 years now and a union man for a long time.
If not for bad representation there would be no representation at all with Wilkie Cumberbatch. Teachers are getting a raw deal all around, parents and children are getting a raw deal from the minister. And not only at Wilkie because another school might be condemned by next month.
Wesley Hall should know.