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BUT president: Ensure there are sufficient teachers in Family Islands

BUT president Belinda Wilson.

BUT president Belinda Wilson.

By LETRE SWEETING

lsweeting@tribunemedia.net

BELINDA Wilson, who was recently re-elected president of the Bahamas Union of Teachers, called on the Ministry of Education to ensure there are sufficient teachers in Family Islands, particularly in Abaco.

Several months after teachers, parents and students gathered outside the Patrick J Bethel High School in Abaco with picket signs protesting the lack of a sufficient number of teachers at a school of more than 500 students, there are still concerns with the shortage of teachers.

This also comes more than six months after Education Minister Glenys Hanna Martin promised action during a PTA meeting in Abaco on February 2 and one month following her statements that officials are in the process of hiring teachers as they seek to address shortages in critical areas in core subjects.

Mrs Wilson said there must be improvement in recruitment and processing of new teachers going forward.

“The Ministry of Education must ensure that there are sufficient teachers for the schools in the Family Islands. There must be improvement in recruitment and processing of new teachers going forward,” she said.

“There are teachers who are recent graduates who are still waiting to be hired and posted in a school. It is very important that teachers be posted in a timely manner because students are missing so many hours of instruction. Abaco should be a priority simply because of the negative impact of Hurricane Dorian coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mrs Wilson said.

Last week, Education Director Marcellus Taylor said officials are confident that they will be able to tackle the shortage of teachers in Abaco amid concerns over the issue.

He explained that currently the ministry has deployed 25 teachers to Abaco who are on the ground at Patrick J Bethel High School. However, Mr Taylor said the ministry intends to add substitute teachers where they can until they are able to complete the process of getting permanent teachers within the schools.

Last week, Mrs Wilson was re-elected to her post.

Mrs Wilson told The Tribune at the time that she intended to make this three-year term her last time occupying the office.

Comments

OMG 2 months, 1 week ago

For years teachers have been victimised and moved at the whim of a poorly trained lacking in people management skills principals often leaving family island teaching posts vacant. We hear all these speeches about our "little darlings" when in reality good teachers are moved, fired on the sacrificial alter of a vindictive principal who cares more about total domination of staff and getting a power kick. The ACR is often used as a weapon and Mrs Wilson does little or nothing to support these teachers. Take Rock Sound in Eleuthera, woodwork teacher moved years ago, never replaced., The last Director of education, Mr Lional Sands told many teachers that they were needed (especially in the practical areas) and could be rehired after 65. Rarely happened and departments were left empty on the basis of no teacher was better than rehiring an experienced retired teacher.

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