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Teachers Left In Limbo With No Schools

BUT President Belinda Wilson.

BUT President Belinda Wilson.

By MORGAN ADDERLEY

Tribune Staff Reporter

madderley@tribunemedia.net 

DESPITE the fact that a significant number of new teachers are still awaiting confirmation, three days into the new school year the ongoing teacher shortage continues to be an issue affecting classrooms nationwide, Bahamas Union of Teachers President Belinda Wilson said yesterday. 

In an interview with The Tribune, Mrs Wilson called for the Ministry of Education to resolve the delay and to start the vetting process for new teachers earlier. 

The BUT president also responded to reports that there is a shortage of teachers at the Eva Hilton Primary School. Mrs Wilson said Eva Hilton is far from the only school with this issue, as those affected range from Arthurs Town High School in Cat Island to A F Adderley Jr High School in New Providence. 

“Generally, there are teachers who have not been placed as yet,” Mrs Wilson said. “I’m working on that right now, I’m getting calls from Family Islands and from schools in New Providence. So it’s not just limited to Eva Hilton. 

“There are new teachers who have been to the orientation…they are still awaiting their appointment letters and where they’re going to be assigned.” 

The orientation exercise for newly appointed teachers was held on August 22. 

When asked what is causing the delay, Mrs Wilson said the answer “depends on who you ask at the ministry.” 

“Because there are different reasons being given,” she added. “But this isn’t anything new. “Every year it’s the same problem. We are of the view that if you know who is coming out of the University of the Bahamas – we would have recommended to the ministry over and over that if you have a cohort of teachers that are coming out (of UB) in May, then from December you should have that listing.” 

Mrs Wilson noted these students’ last semester would be the following January-May. She estimated 99 percent would successfully complete the term. 

“So we are of the view that from December the Ministry of Education should have a listing of all of the teachers that are prospective graduates of (UB). They should have the subject or the discipline that they should be graduating with a degree in. 

“And what they should do is begin the vetting process, and start to collect…all of those documentation they should have prior to now.  

“I’m saying to you, teachers who would have attended the orientation exercise from week before last, some of them have still not been posted to school. It’s not limited to Eva Hilton.” 

When asked for an estimate of how many teachers are waiting to be assigned, Mrs Wilson said: “There were 207 teachers, new recruits. Up to like a week and a half ago, there are about 85 of them that had letters in their hands.

“Since that time, there would have been probably about 10 or 15 that would have communicated with me to say, ‘yes I got my school, I would have got my letter,” I got the geographical posting allowance,’ which is funds they should get for their airfare, their freight, to turn on their utilities.

“The Ministry and the Department of Education must do a better job of their recruitment and the exercise they use in between recruitment to get teachers in school in a timely manner.”

Giving examples of schools affected by the shortage, Mrs Wilson said these include E P Roberts, A F Adderley, and the Arthurs Town High School in Cat Island, which is specifically awaiting five teachers.

Mrs Wilson also reported the teachers are not being given any indication as to when they will receive their documents.

Comments

TheMadHatter 2 years, 1 month ago

Wilson is forgetting the rich foreign owners of the hotels and their need for room maids. You can't have all Bahamians getting a good education, or else where would the replacement maids come from. I'm sure the Ministry knows this, and factors it into their teacher placement and school repair algorithms.

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DDK 2 years, 1 month ago

If this WAS tongue in cheek Mad One, not everyone may realize it!

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hrysippus 2 years, 1 month ago

What a particularly stupid and pointless comment from The Mad hater.

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John 2 years, 1 month ago

I guess you ( singular) will also conclude that the rich, affluent merchant class also instructed D’Aguilar to delay Bahamasair flights by up to 16 hours to discourage the poor, penny pinching working class from traveling to Florida to do their back-to-school shopping. Do the math 16 hour delays each way constitutes a day and a half lost by each passenger affected. And they say it was over 1,000 passengers each weekend for the two weekends plus this traveling on the following Monday’s and Tuesdays. Lot of man hours for real.

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killemwitdakno 2 years, 1 month ago

A BUNCH OF BS EVERY YR. HAVE DEADLINES IN PLACE BEFORE OPEN. OBVIOUSLY YOU NEED MORE TEACHERS EACH YR BC KIDS GROW AND HAVE MULTIPLE KIDS.

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TheMadHatter 2 years, 1 month ago

My apologies. I will keep reality firmly tucked away out of sight in a brown paper bag in future.

Revised Statement: The public school system provides a valuable, fair and equitable share of education to all students, each of whom have nothing to fear from the future onset of android-style robotics and may therefore pursue a career in the custodial arts and enjoy the success and fulfillment associated therewith.

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 1 month ago

Another sick-minded elitist bigot ......... private schooling is the biggest sham in this country because very few are really worth their salt.

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TheMadHatter 2 years, 1 month ago

Sheeprunner, on the contrary. Im not an elitist biggot. Instead of trying to bring everyone down in the interest of equality, i prefer to bring everyone up in the interest of equality.

Unfortunately, the Government and the Church has too many of yall fooled into believing that being poor and ignorant is a good thing and something to be proud of. Indeed, far too often you hear people say that the Bible says the poor will always be amoung us.

We Suck and We're Proud of It.

That's the country's true motto.

As Trump would say, "Sad. Very Sad".

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 1 month ago

Did you read what you write???????? .......... Do you realize the message you are conveying about public school education?????? ....... why do you think we are the only Caribbean country that devalues public school education????

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TheMadHatter 2 years, 1 month ago

You may be right. I may be wrong. I would be happy to be wrong if it made our country better.

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