Greaves did not teach
Principal of the Alexandra School Jeff Broomes is still adamant.
He insisted again today that Amaida Greaves, the head of the school’s Science Department, did not teach Chemistry to a fourth form class for all of the 2011 third term.
That accusation was made public by the principal on December 2 last year, leading to industrial action by Greaves and more than two dozen of her colleagues at the school represented by the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union.
“I gave a lawful assignment to a teacher (Greaves), it was not carried out, I had occasion to speak to her again and she informed me that she was not teaching and I issued her instructions in writing but she still refused,” he told the Commission of Enquiry into Alexandra when it continued today.
“We met in my office, we sat down, we had the time table in front of us we went through all of the permutations, I heard that we were mixing and piecing, which is not true. We sat together in my office, that was totally discussed between the two of us.
“I asked Mrs. Amaida Greaves to take the fourth form Chemistry, we sat together and discussed this. She was doing both fifth form Chemistry classes and I accept that there would have been more work that is why I dropped her assigned lessons from 25 to 20,” he said.
Broomes said he was told by more than one source, a teacher and two of the students from the class, that Greaves had not taught the students.
The principal said after hearing this he visited the specified fourth form and did not see Greaves but the students “doing a work sheet”, and he therefore assumed teaching was going on.
“When I saw them doing the work sheet I assumed that they had been assigned by her (Greaves), I was subsequently informed … that work sheet had been given by the lab assistant and not by her,” he said.
The witness also testified he had deliberately not mentioned the name of the teacher, who told him Greaves was not teaching in his report to the Chief Education Officer, because he wanted to avoid further conflict between the two teachers.
Broomes also defended his December 2, 2011 Speech Day address, saying what he said was factual, and that he did not set out to bash any teacher.
“I made no adverse comment on a teacher, I made a public apology to parents on an action, I bashed no teacher, I condemned an action,” he said.
“I was not trying to praise or condemn anybody, I was addressing an action … which needed to be addressed… We as educators must understand clearly that there may be a thin line, but there is a line in terms of bashing a teacher and being condemnatory of an action. There are actions that must be brought out into the open and I have no problem with that.
“My statement is absolutely correct, you may take a different position but I was at Alexandra School, Sir.
“I am not going to pretend with anybody that the months of Apirl, May and June were … easy in my life. I made that statement here yesterday because that’s when the cancer started to impact my mother that eventually took her life in June. I am not going to say I remember everything, I was focussed on everything but it impacted me,” he said in response to questions from commission senior counsel Milton Pierce. (SC)