The Combermere Secondary School is one of the oldest in Barbados and has accumulated a reservoir of goodwill through the years –the envy of many. It pains the BU household – littered with Combermerians – to observe the public spectacle being played out at the school in the past year. The revelation by staff, parents, students and others that there is an environmental concern in the form of a stench has exposed the lack of leadership at the Waterford compound and by extension the ministry of education.
It is known that Principal Vere Parris does not command the respect of the school personnel in a manner to make ‘Joe Clarke’ proud. He is considered a weak and sniffling headmaster who avoids conflict at every opportunity. Under his watch the high standards at Combermere that historically fed the reservoir of goodwill have been sliding. The Common Entrance pass mark to enter Combermere is exceeded only by Harrison College and Queens College. The point: the school receives some of the best young bright minds from the primary system to mould and should be able to compete with the best. The school has been failing to deliver.
The ministry of education updated the public this week, maintenance work is currently being carried out at the school and the expectation is that reopening of the Waterford University is imminent. This is good news especially for the students preparing for CXC/CAPE certification. Unfortunately It is reasonable assumption to make that CXC productivity at the Combermere Secondary School will dip next year.
The BU household expects the interpersonal conflict all and sundry know exist at the school is also addressed with the priority it deserves. The job of educating our children is serious business and all stakeholders must be held accountable by the ministry of education. If one were to judge from how the Alexandra Secondary School matter was dealt with it leaves one to question the competency of ministry personnel. We live in hope!
The other issue BU is not comfortable and will search out clarification is the postulation by Principal Vere Parris that sabotage is to blame for the recent event at the school. Principal Vere Parris admitted on October 7, 2016 the wells on the compound were sealed. The fact the wells were seals confirms to the doubting minds there was an environmental issue. We are aware that complaints about the stench were known from Week 1. Further, after the wells were sealed it is also known there was no abatement of the stench or complaints.The clarification being sought by BU is how do we filter that there was no abatement of the stench based on reports after the wells were seals and the Principal’s spouting in the wind of sabotage. The BU household is reminded of the claim by minister of finance Chris Sinckler in parliament that he had received a death threat.
One wonders if the docile headmaster Vere Parris is being played, the objective, to deflect blame form those most deserving –the ministry of education.