Teachers going back to school
Teachers who have been away from the Parkinson Memorial Secondary and Alma Parris Memorial Secondary schools for the past four days will be back in the classroom from Monday.
But they will only stay if the environment is safe and conducive for learning.
President of the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) Pedro Shepherd told Barbados TODAY the teachers agreed to return to their duties on that condition.
“So we await reports from those teachers when they return to school next Monday as to if there is any change in the environment,” he said.
Teachers represented by the BUT have been off the job at Parkinson to protest the failure of principal Jeff Broomes to address indiscipline among students – including some children taking weapons to school – as well as similar issues at Alma Parris, for the past four days.
“I would expect that the ministry and police would have removed the weapons from Parkinson and make it safe. So once again, we are going back hoping that on Monday it would be safe with those removed,” Shepherd said.
He noted that the BUT had written the Ministry of Education on Tuesday, and again yesterday, stating the reasons for the teachers’ action and asking for investigations to be launched.
However, he said, the union had not received any response.
“I trust that they would respond between now and Monday,” he said.
The BUT head also said he hoped the principals would recognize the importance of communicating with teachers.
“They have to listen to the teachers, they have to communicate with teachers and respect teachers in order for the teachers to be able to function and function properly,” he insisted.
On Wednesday, the ministry issued a statement strongly condemning the teachers’ strike action, instructing them to get back to the classroom and warning they could face consequences for improperly withdrawing their labour.