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Chairman’s job to ready school

The Ministry of Education has given the head of the Alexandra School’s board of management “instructions” to get the institution “ready” for resumption of classes next month. And this includes making arrangements to fill staff vacancies and overseeing physical repairs at the St. Peter school.

Attorney-at-law Guyson Mayers, counsel for Alexandra chairman Keith Simmons, QC, and the board of management, made this known today at the Commission of Enquiry into Alexandra.

This was after the principal, in his sixth and final day on the witness stand, told the tribunal claims that he did not included heads of department when prospective teachers are interviewed for jobs were “absolute and total nonsense”.

Mayers was responding to statements from Broomes about alleged efforts to exclude him from a recruitment exercise for teachers to be hired for the 2012/2013 school year.

“I am instructed, Sir, that the Ministry of Education has summoned the chairman to the ministry and have given him instructions with respect to getting the school ready for the next term,” he told commissioner Frederick Waterman.

“Among these instructions, in addition to doing physical repairs … he has been instructed to pull together persons to fill vacancies at the school from a list provided to him by the ministry with the full input of a ministry representative who has been guiding the process.

“So to say that teachers are being employed at this time without the principal’s input, to suggest that that is an indication that the chairman is doing something that he should not be doing gives the wrong impression. I just want to say enough to make it clear that there is not such impropriety,” Mayers added.

During his final day of evidence on day 36 of the hearing at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex, Broomes, noting that he himself had been contacted by the Ministry of Education about him getting involving the process to get the school ready, said he favoured the full involvement of heads of department when candidates seeking to become teachers in their sections were interviewed. He said each time an effort was made to fill a vacancy he contacted the secretary treasurer to the board of management to involve heads of departments. “It can never ever be done without the board, because it is a board committee,” he testified.

Broomes said this was the case with Carl Padmore, a former teacher at the school, whose recruitment and deployment caused controversy.

“I clearly remember Mr. Alvin Burgess the chairman of the board at the time and I sitting with Mr. Padmore. The principal was involved, so was the chairman of the board,” he stated.

“I would suggest in Mr. Padmore’s case, Mr. Padmore was not being employed with teacher qualifications. Mr. Padmore was being employed on a part time basis for his skills… He could not have been interviewed for a teacher position because he only had three certificates — he did not meet the minimum qualification.” (SC)

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