Go in peace
Even though democracy is a good thing, sometimes it creates an awful environment when people abuse it — a reference to the dispute with teachers over recent transfers.
This was the warning from Minister of Education Ronald Jones this morning while addressing ministry officials and the media the audience during a tour and progress report on expansion work at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic in Wildey in St. Michael.
Jones told those present that†the State has become “soft” because there had been a “major decay” in societal attitudes and if focus was not kept on adjusting these attitudes “about what is law, what is right, then corrosion takes place at the base … the whole system starts to fall”.
“It starts to implode and people accept what they take as a right when in fact it was simply a privilege that was provided. People then turn the privilege into a right so you can’t be transferred — that’s law.
“The deputy principal knows, even though you are in a technical institution that your talents might be needed in another part of the sector. So BVTB [Barbados Vocational Training Board] might need you and we say to you: please go over to BVTB and carry on the process.
“If you don’t want to go you can say so because that’s democracy. You don’t have to go, but somebody else will take that job and then somebody else will get this job.
“I speak my mind whenever I speak. I fear God, so what we do must be for the benefit of others. When we work either in the private sector or in the public sector, when an employer says to you, ‘Look I want you to move from ‘A’ to ‘B’, to essentially do the same task’, what is the problem? It is the identical task but you are shifting from ‘A’ to ‘B’ — what is there at ‘A’ that makes it impossible for you to move to ‘B’?
“They are persons who are recalling that they had to move from school ‘A’ to go to school ‘B’, that that in itself is a penalty to them because they have claimed unto themselves some particular right or benefit that others don’t claim. If you are a teacher of a given discipline and you are able to teach History at The St. Michael School, you should be able to teach History, albeit with some modification, because it is about how you use your ability as a teacher to impact on those who might be at a slower rate.
“Part of what I see as the problem is not only the Government’s right to transfer persons but the prejudices which persons have built up over time in relation to particular schools. So I want to impress on all of you to work, give of your worth as you work with our young people. Give of your own talents, give of your skills, give of your competency to the young people that you serve.
“There are one or two that are disgusting, but they are disgusting because they want somebody to listen to them. They want to get rid of all the conflicts and confusions that they have inside of them and if, by our actions, we add to the conflicts and confusion then what are we going to have in a day, a year or two years down the road? A whole set of young people who don’t care about themselves, who don’t care about their parents, who don’t care about us as individuals or us as a society,” said Jones. (KC)†