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Teachers’ unions not on board with Human Chain event

The two unions representing the island’s teachers are not on board with Monday’s planned One People, One Barbados Human Chain Link in observance of the island’s 50th anniversary of Independence.

In fact, the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) and the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) in a joint statement made it clear that teachers could not be mandated to attend the event.

“The workplace of the teachers that day is at their assigned schools and any work with this project would have to be seen as entirely voluntary,” the unions said.

The chain link is being coordinated by the Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the 50th Anniversary of Independence Celebrations Secretariat and two private groups –– The Power of Choice and Trident 10 TV.

One of the organizers Errol Griffith told Barbados TODAY the event was for the nation’s children, and he appealed to Barbadians to team up to ensure it was successful.

Errol Griffith

“It’s for our children. We only have one 50th anniversary and let us encourage people rather than criticize and say, ‘don’t do this and don’t do that’, let us all come together and see how we can make this happen,” Griffith said.

The teachers charged they were left out of the planning process, and argued the event should have been scheduled for the weekend as a family activity.

They also cited a number of logistical problems, chief among which was whether an adequate number of teachers would be assigned to monitor the students.

“It has been the norm that for field trips outside the school there should be a ratio of one teacher to ten students. To what extent will that be possible in this instance, and what liability is there for the teachers in the event of an incident?”

The unions also questioned whether bathroom facilities were in place for young children, whether schools had permission slips for children to be taken off the premises and what transportation arrangements were in place.

7 Responses to Broken link

  1. Jada Jameson
    Jada Jameson November 24, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    Wow those unions acting like politicians goodness me.

  2. Hal Austin November 25, 2016 at 7:46 am

    Teachers cannot and should not be mandated to take part, but it is the symbolism of the event that is important for the children and the nation.
    Member of the BSTU need to rethink their ideas.

  3. KathyAnn November 25, 2016 at 8:02 am

    It is very sad when we as a people find every little thing to have problem with for sport day the children get to and from without problem for cross country the children run alongside the road with no teacher to see what happen and it not a problem but to go to a location to join in an event that is for us as a people is a problem and then we say we have nothing over 60 years really, long time ago you go where you were sent now you can choose, we had no rights now we have to much, come on people it is our country stop finding the problems and find solution and make it possible this is our country, set an example for our future.

  4. kathy-Ann Clarke November 25, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Listen, if they say it is for the children, I don’t see why the teachers cannot come out and support. It don’t happen everyday. Good gosh man, everything yah do, some stupid Union got to be critizing and want people to abandon. The Unions call out the Customs, Immigration, and they know it already does be slow with these people, so you can imagine how it is now. Stupes…

  5. Antionette Sealy November 25, 2016 at 10:25 am

    It is two ugly women that causing all the problems . One has a face like Donald Duck and the other like Miss Froggie

  6. Sue Donym November 25, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    I have to agree with the teachers on this.
    Whatever their vision, the organisers seem to have fallen short in the planning leaving it to the teachers to ‘make it happen’. A nationally important event deserves to be handled accordingly.

    Information reveals that some schools have been assigned to cover areas several miles away and many students are expected to make their own way there and back. How are teachers supposed to account for entire classes with such loose arrangements?

    The planners should have consulted more closely with the teachers. This smacks of a kind of opportunism to guarantee the numbers.

  7. Realist November 25, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    The only thing teachers need to do on Monday is to turn up for school and stay there to teach until three o’clock. If you weren’t in the planning then don’t get into the mess. This activity is a WASTE of a time and is the idea of a very DUNCY, ASCININE person. What is to be gained from such a ridiculous outing? What is the objective? Surely the brains in the ministry could have come up with something with more thought. This is a borrowed and failed idea from the 1970s. It didn’t work then and it would not work on Monday.


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