Back to square one
A very happy 2013 once again, and welcome to the misery that is to greet us at the start of the school term. I am still here at a loss for words to describe the outcome of the Alexandra School enquiry.
It took nearly $600,000 to decide that Jeff Broomes should be transferred — and a host of teachers too. I could have made that decision over a tall mauby and a snack box. I would have paid for it myself and taxpayers would not have had the horror of footing the bill. Even if I bought a gallon of the mauby syrup and the snack box was not on special it would not have been a high cost to anyone.
After all the weeks and months and phase one and phase two, all that came to the fore was a whole set of number two. Back to square one as teachers go back to their union and all that money spent for nothing it seems. The only winners were the lawyers and all those who had to be paid at the end of it all. Their bank accounts were the better for it and as I said before we are no better than when we started.
From the outside looking in, what I am seeing is more trouble brewing. More teachers are going to be miserable, having to move out of their comfort zone or from their style of teaching, and not to mention students they have built a relationship with. I have confidence in our teachers island wide, but I also know they are human beings too.
Why was Broomes not transferred years ago if there was evidence that he was the heart of the issue? I am one who feels the best way to deal with a problem is up front. All I am seeing is more problems being created. Could there have been another way of sorting the first mess out?
I can’t help wondering if somewhere in someone’s mind there had to be an outcome that would burst the bubble of those who figured they had a victory when certain things were leaked to the press about the findings of the enquiry.
Mary Redman, who seemed quite pleased at the early leaked findings, is now unable to bask in the fact that “Jeff has been made to left”, because so too are others from the embattled institution. What I can say is that it is never easy telling off some people or going as far as firing or suspending them. I don’t know who are friends with whom, but it seems that someone somewhere has a tight alliance within all the issues going on.
At present, Broomes is out on sick leave. I can’t blame him for getting or being sick because I too would have been sick of the whole waste of taxpayers’ time and money. Let them all squabble while Broomes is home watching Twenty 20 cricket and old classic movies.
I have no idea what the end results may have been if his transfer is determined to be a dismissal or how much money the Government would have had to pay if he had been given early retirement, but I don’t think it would have been near $600,000.
I still want to know why transfers could not have been done before, and subtly, to avoid the mess. See where the problems were and remove them. You don’t keep two adolescent bulls in the same ring, you will be asking for war.
If Broomes and certain teachers could not work together they should have been separated long time ago and for a whole lot less than $600,000 in time too. At times one has to show who is in charge by taking hard measures. If you are seen as a soft person who is not up completing a task, then you need to go and allow someone else to do the job.
What does the education minister have to say in all this? If I were him, I would have little to say because I believe he should have sorted it out the moment it fell in his lap. It should not be that way at all when holding such a post.
I am of the belief that when working for an establishment or for the government, that transfers are to be expected. If you don’t like it you can argue your case but once you intend to keep being a part of the company setup you should accept and continue work as usual, as you were employed with the knowledge that transfers could occur.
I could be wrong but the teachers who are still protesting against the transfers may have had an outright win in mind, which was to end with Jeff Broomes being sent home or transferred only. That did not happen, so where do we go from here? Do we await another phase or just call enquiry number two?
Whatever is to be done, please do it fast and not through heavy unnecessary spending again. That money can go to feeding or clothing the needy or upgrading some of the educational institutions. I await the outcome.