Submitted by Jefferson
It is with great befuddlement that I write about the accomplished Combermere School. For hundreds of years this institution has produced influential citizens like the late Right Honourable David Thompson, former West Indian cricketer Rev. Wes Hall, author Sir Frank Collymore, UNESCO award winning film director and cultural historian Owen “Alik” Shahadah and President of the Senate Kerryann Ifill.
Combermere School offers an excellent music program, are the holders of countless cricketing trophies thanks to the Head of the Physical Education Department Mr. Michael Small, Mr. Roderick Estwick (cricket coach) and Mr. Michael Worrell (athletics coach). Combermere has approximately fifty-four trained teachers including one Guidance Counsellor; most of them possess bachelor degrees with at least three acquiring doctorates. However it is with great disdain that I write about this educational institution that was once rated as number three on the island and is currently failing our inquiring young minds. Let me start with the Principal who has a taken a lackadaisical approach to managing this school that is occupied by teenagers who are academically sound and street wise. Mr. Vere Parris is an invisible principal and he is definitely imperceptible during the lunch break when children are engaging in various unimaginable activities. He operates the school remotely from the confines of his air-conditioned surroundings. It is essential for Combermere School to obtain a leader as vigilant and dynamic as Mr. Vincent Fergusson (former Deputy Principal of Combermere, current Principal of Coleridge and Parry Secondary School). Mr. Parris is known as a courteous gentleman but not one who is a strong disciplinarian or a firm believer in Combermere culture even though he is a former Combermerian.
The practice of being an absentee Principal has trickled down to some of his teachers who have inherited the practice of being fifteen minutes late for forty minute classes (but of course the principal wouldn’t know unless he has a periscope), they have a reputation for not taking class registration and failing to teach lessons that are on par with the CXC syllabus and that of the other older secondary schools thereby forcing students to seek lessons elsewhere and costing parents hundreds of dollars per month. The Combermerians who are capable of gaining national awards are forced to enroll at Harrison College, Queen’s College and Barbados Community College in order to gain academic recognition. In fact, when last has Combermere even earned a Grade 1 at CAPE Level furthermore a national award? Shameful!
The teaching fraternity at Combermere School is providing little guidance, are poor facilitators and lack pastoral care for the budding leaders and pioneers of this country thus stunting their progress. Mr. Parris needs to rethink his management style recruit his vibrant, innovative, respectable teachers like Mr. Mayers and create a competitive atmosphere for students that have become somewhat lawless and undisciplined; he needs to encourage them to positively engage their creative minds and assist them in becoming worthwhile citizens and not just be able to say I went to “Cawmere.”