Upset parents demand meeting with education ministry
Parents are demanding a meeting with Ministry of Education officials to discuss the effects of industrial action at Parkinson Memorial Secondary and Alma Parris Memorial Secondary schools, and the plan going forward.
That announcement was made yesterday evening by president of the Barbados National Council of Parent Teachers Association (BNCPTA) Rhonda Blackman, who met with concerned parents at the school.
Describing the situation as very sad, an upset Blackman said “enough is enough” and parents need to recognize their power.
“If it means that we have to take all our parents and we [have] to do a march and we have to chant and . . . ask for all of Barbados to come out in support, we will do what we have to do because it cannot go on,” she said.
The BNCPTA head also warned of the effects that the four days of industrial action by teachers could have on students, adding that that it is not about taking sides but, rather, ensuring that children are in a safe and secure environment that is conducive to learning.
“What they (Parkinson Memorial PTA members) propose to do going forward is that they will meet with the Ministry of Education in short order, when the ministry invites them to have this meeting. They will put on the table their grievances and the grievances that you have. The same way that unions have a plan of action for their members, your PTA has a plan of action for you,” Blackman told the parents.
“Going forward, even if it means that we have to rally the support for all the parents in Barbados in solidarity for the children at Alma Parris School and . . . Parkinson, we will have to do it because in this whole process the children in this country are suffering and we are sitting back and we’re being too reactive instead of being proactive.
“SBAs (School Based Assessments) are due, CXC is around the corner, promotional exams are around the corner and I want you to know that CXC doesn’t say that this school was having a problem therefore I’m going to differ the CXC to another time. The exam is set and it is standard. Therefore, your child will become disadvantaged if this thing continues,” Blackman added.
On Friday, the Barbados Union of Teachers said that teachers will return to the classroom tomorrow, if the environment is safe and conducive for learning. They are insisting on the removal of weapons confiscated from students at Parkinson.
The teachers have been protesting the failure of the principal of Parkinson Jeff Broomes to address indiscipline among students, as well as issues at Alma Parris.