Jones says protesters were ‘BLP agents’

Minister of Education Ronald Jones has led a broadside against some protesting parents of students of St Mark Primary School in St Philip, suggesting they were agents of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP).

The parents were demonstrating their displeasure at the condition of the school, which the minister acknowledged was not in the best shape.

However, he was not buying their discontent, questioning whether the protestors had any interest in the welfare of the students.

“There was a St Philip North branch of the Barbados Labour Party protest action. Some people in there were not even parents. I really don’t have too much bother about people marching and protesting. They didn’t march and protest in 2012 and 2013 and there were issues at the school as well,” the minister told Barbados TODAY following a presentation yesterday at his office in the Elsie Payne Complex, St Michael.

Jones said a number of improvements had been made to the school in 2015/2016, including changing the roof, refurbishing the main building and changes to the toilets.

He said he had no problem with parents who had a genuine interest in their children’s well-being.

However, he insisted that those involved in the protest were engaging in propaganda in furtherance of their own interests.

“What I’m condemning is the propagandistic approach taken by some to feather their own nest. Ignorant of what has gone before. So in the presence of deliberate ignorance, one gets this deliberate propagandistic approach,” he told Barbados TODAY.

He also questioned whether photographs circulating on social media showing furniture strewn around the school were authentic.

In fact, the minister hinted the scattered furniture might have been a deliberate act, a suggestion that it was done to embarrass Government.

“When I saw the pictures on Facebook and saw furniture scattered around the school. No principal is going to allow that to happen. They would be stacked for disposal in one location. So I’m wondering if it was a deliberate act by someone.

“I was in Parliament when I saw it and I called the Chief Education Officer immediately and told her ensure the furniture was removed immediately because it could become a hazard to children and teachers. That furniture was removed from around the school. And that’s just not because there was pending industrial action, we have always looked out for the safety of our children,” he stressed.

The Minister of Education said he was well aware of the situation at the primary school, which he said had been earmarked for further renovations.

However, he said no work was done on it last summer because other schools were on the priority list, although he stressed that Government had intended to build a new school in the district.

“We had identified land, privately owned and we also looked at some owned by the Government. That school is 185 years old and the current building is just over 100 years old. It’s made of limestone and that presents its own challenges . . . . So if everything had gone according to plan in 2018 would have seen St Marks being architecturally designed,” Jones explained. 

6 Responses to Jones says protesters were ‘BLP agents’

  1. Sue Donym November 1, 2017 at 5:09 am

    Since when does an architectural design, possibly available in the following year solve any current physical problems? And there’s a saying about a road that’s paved with good intentions.

    Isn’t it insensitive to attempt to dismiss the protest by politicising it? So what if Mr Jones recognised any or many of the protestors as having some BLP connection? It appears that the education minister has admitted that there was sufficient reason to decide on a new facility. Is it unreasonable to think that there’s real reson for parents to be concerned about the condition of the old?

    Truth is, not much gets done in Bim through exchanging pleasantries at the PTA social.

  2. chris hill November 1, 2017 at 6:46 am

    when the MOF was doing the budget why did jones not put it to him that the school needed significant funds or just sit back and watch sealy get majority for tourism marketing. Man these boys got their priorities all backwards.

  3. Ossie Moore November 1, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    Liken to the saying by the two California wine producing farmers Barton and James. “Sitting on ice is the advertisement’s device”!!

  4. Belfast November 1, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    The DLP’s version of the Cold War. There is red under every bed.
    Bloody climbing monkeys.

  5. hcalndre November 2, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    Jonesie said that the school needed repairs as far back as 5 years ago and they did not protest but it will be done in 2018, what else is promise for 19, 20, 21 and 22. Is he begging for time or are they promises? Residents in the school district have to be parents to protest? Jonesie! they are tax payers too. Bajan way of thinking again.

  6. luther thorne November 4, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    If they do nothing else, the DLP takes great pride in seeking to divide and polarize the Country.


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