Jones hails atmosphere at Alexandra
Minister of Education Ronald Jones has hailed the peaceful atmosphere that now exists at The Alexandra School while warning that trouble could be brewing elsewhere in the school system.
Against the backdrop of a dispute between the former principal Jeff Broomes and teachers, which led to the order of a commission of inquiry by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and the eventual transfer of the school’s head and some teachers last year, Jones saluted what he described as “peace” at the St Peter institution.
“I’m pleased with what I’m seeing, with what I’ve heard. I love the peace which is down here at Alexandra,” he said in an address to the school’s Speech Day.
However, hinting that there may be trouble brewing elsewhere, he said, “I want that peace to be at every school, including the one in the Pine. When there is no peace I can’t sleep,” the Minister said, adding that his sleeplessness was caused by “somebody greater than I, and not the Lord”.
Jones also spoke of the importance of the Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQ) to students with poor academic records while noting that some Alexandra teachers had been obtaining CVQ teaching certification.
“We need to accelerate our competency-based training in this country because it makes the child ready to almost move into the world of work, to set up an entrepreneurial activity.
“And we’ve been slow in Barbados, actually too slow,” the Minister said.
During the feature address, Jones sang the praises of teaching staff as he urged them to place more emphasis on vocational education.
“Continue what you are doing well. . . Lead the way, set the stage,” he said, adding “the development of the nation depends on what teachers do, not what politicians say, because I can say it today with the left side of my mouth and as circumstances change, switch it to the right side, and hope that people aren’t listening”.