Classes start at schools


Jerome Fitzgerald


FOR the first time in almost two weeks, classes resumed at Stephen Dillet and Uriah McPhee primary schools yesterday.

Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald said that teachers at both institutions taught students, adding that he had a cordial and satisfying meeting with teachers of Stephen Dillet and expects to meet with Uriah McPhee teachers today.

However, some teachers at Stephen Dillet held classes outside because of problems with the air conditioning unit in their department.

Teachers at the two schools first refused to teach on September 12 in protest against structural problems in the schools and last week education director Lionel Sands said teachers who had not taught students “will face consequences.”

However, Mr Fitzgerald said yesterday that the teachers will not face pay cuts because he has concluded that “their concerns were legitimate.”

As for Carlton Francis Primary School whose teachers engaged in a sit-out last week Friday, Mr Fitzgerald said the ministry has supplied the school with new chairs and that classes there also resumed as normal yesterday.

Regarding his meeting with Stephen Dillet teachers, he said: “I interacted with a number of the teachers a day after meeting with members of the PTA and school board. It was very cordial. They thanked me for listening to them. I understood the level of frustration they have experienced over the years. We went through what the environmental person had said and I told them I would visit both schools every morning for the next week to make sure things are done like they are supposed to be done. It was a very respectful meeting.”

Mr Fitzgerald also said contrary to reports by members of the Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT), Stephen Dillet does not have a fibre glass problem. He said: “There was no fibre glass issue. Fibre glass is up in the attic. You’re not even supposed to go up there and it had no bearing on the AC system. But we still had a contractor clean it up.”

He added that the Ministry of Environment has performed air control tests in the school buildings, concluding that “there is nothing harmful to teachers and students.” He said persons from the Department of Health will reassess the schools on Monday.

Meanwhile, conciliation efforts between BUT and the Ministry of Education continued at the Department of Labour yesterday. BUT president Belinda Wilson said: “We ain getting nowhere cuz all they doing is lying, the next side. We ga be here all week.”


John 9 years ago

The credibility of Belinda Wilson is now coming into question .Why would she hire a teacher employed by the Ministry of Education to do an assessment of buildings under dispute with the teachers union? School children has missed almost a month of classes so why is she still calling for more industrial action, on an international level ? Do she really have the interest of children at heart? Maybe she needs to shut up and think for a minute, as her voice is getting annoying, and try to compromise, The county is in recession, As for Stephen Dillet and Uriah McPhee school buildings. Maybe the time as come for the government to demolish these buildings ad rebuild ones like the other schools around the country or just relocate the schoosl and use the buildings for some other purpose one where you don't have 300 or 400 children depending on one or two AC units for comfort


concernedcitizen 9 years ago

When those schools were built i could not believe some one w/ a once of sense designed them ,then even worse that town planning approved them and the Minister of education at the time allowed them to be built .


Guy 9 years ago

The teacher's union is being led by a gangster, and she has been working arduously to get the public on her side. She has preached doom and gloom, and is trying to convince the public that children will begin falling down dead if they are sent to school. That said the government needs to do away with these schools, as they are badly designed and cost a fortune to maintain.


emille 9 years ago

Can Rashad Rolle, the person who wrote this story, or the editor explain why Mrs. Wildon's comments were written phonetically? Did she give your paper a written statement written like that? If not,the editor has some explaining to do and may be guilty of bias reporting.


Sign in to comment