No care for teachers

Ludicrous! Absolutely ludicrous!

How else can this most recent act of farcical musical chairs lunacy inflicted upon the educational system of this country be perceived?

Is this the “overhaul”, the “reform” of the education system promised by the Minister of Education some time back? Who can fail to note that neither he nor the chief education officer has been “transferred”, when clearly, these are two of the individuals who have exemplified the greatest ineptitude and fear. But from all available evidence, these seem to be characteristics for which one is valued and rewarded in the education sector.

The individuals who comprise the Public Service Commission who have perpetrated this folly are obviously patently clueless as to how a school is organised, how things are planned within a school, how subject departments of a school are run. At its very essence, their thinking (sic) reeks of the unfortunate reality that, in spite of all the syruppy lip service, teachers and teaching are not highly regarded in this country.

Oh yes, one will always hear how vital this sector is for the development of our only real resource and how much money is allocated to education, but, in fact, very little care, concern and respect are given on a day-to-day basis to the ones in the trenches who must carry out this oh-so-important task.

This latest act of irrationality by the individuals of the PSC only serves to strengthen the argument for the urgent establishment of a Teaching Service Commission, which would be more au fait with the unique nature of schools in all their peculiar facets and dimensions.

That the Ministry of Education, which should presumably possess a less murky understanding of the school system than the individuals of the PSC, could permit this travesty to be unleashed upon the teaching service and the education system of our nation is truly reprehensible. To allow the wreaking of this colossal, foolish “trading places” is simply to bring down havoc on our teaching service and the education system. An extremely “foul deed” indeed!

It is my understanding that many of the switch ups are not even compatible. How sensible is it to exchange one Foreign Language teacher whose area is French with another whose area is Spanish? How bright is it to exchange one Science teacher whose area is Chemistry with another whose area is Biology?

Are those Alexandra Heads of Department who are now to be Heads of Department at sixth form schools familiar or have any experience with the CAPE syllabi? Where is the logic in this whole fiasco?

Do the individuals of the PSC fully appreciate that teachers not only teach their specific subject area but that they also take on different duties in the school, that they moderate extra-curricular activities and programmes according to their personal attributes and interests? Do the exchanges take any of these things into consideration? What about the profound disruption now imposed upon those departments which deal with SBA’s? This comes smack-dab in the middle of this exercise for CXC. Can concern for the students of the over 30 teachers and over a dozen schools afflicted be central to this insanity by the individuals of the PSC?

What precisely do these individuals and the other powers-that-be hope to achieve by this derangement? It most certainly could not be efficacy! It most certainly could not be the smooth running of the schools! It most certainly could not be peace! It most certainly could not be right and justice! It most certainly could not be the best interest of the students!

And what of the findings of the Commission of Inquiry for which we, the taxpayers, shelled out over $600,000 when we could least afford it?

The source of the problems was clearly and unmistakably defined. Have the individuals of the PSC even started to address this issue? A perpetrator of “unorthodox hiring” and “untenable managerial” practices, a “workplace bully”, a “victimizer of teachers”, a “creator of divisiveness”, a speaker of “deliberate inaccuracies”, a “manipulator of students” will no more change his wretched modus operandi merely because he is in a different location any more than a leopard can ever change its spots.

Such a man is being allowed to remain on the loose, given free reign to rampage across our nation’s school system! Why?

What exactly informed the individuals of the PSC? And I am being very gracious to make the assumption that there was any serious thought on the matter!

— Lionel James

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