The Barbados Secondary Teachers Union (BSTU) has called out members to a meeting tomorrow at 12.30PM.
Up to now Barbados Underground has avoided comment about the spitting incident by a pupil at the Ellerslie Secondary School in a direct way for several reasons we will not share at this time. The BU household along with civic minded Barbadians had anticipated swift intervention by actors in the education system to resolve, especially coming so soon after the ‘wrapper’ affair at the Springer Secondary School . Yet again we have to endure another case of indiscipline in the school system. To be expected the protagonists have drawn swords and the usual script will be followed and blood shed. As many commenters have observed in this forum, we appear to be lurching from one crisis to the other and as as a consequence the parents (public) have developed a mindset of resignation.
BU sides with President of the BSTU Mary Redman that the teacher bashing must stop. All professions have bad apples in the barrel. To throw the teaching profession under the bus because of a few ignorant ones does not make sense. We need to voice our concerns in a respectful manner. Should it surprise anyone if many of the most vociferous voices on the talk shows and others posting prolifically on social media have never attended a Parents Teachers Association meeting or know the name of the form teacher of their child? At the root of the problem in our schools is the failure of the key stakeholders to manage the school environment – the principal, teachers, parent and ministry of education. Those of us who are intimately aware of the conditions under which teachers have to teach; especially at the newer secondary schools, sympathize with the task they are confronted. The herculean task of maintaining discipline in several of these learning institutions is analogous to turning water into wine. In fact – and it is scary – the same observation can be made of several primary schools. Imagine a few students agreeing to damage the car of a teacher, the result a $11,000 repair bill.
There is a rising anti establishment sentiment taking root in Barbados that is threatening to dismantle all the gains accrued post Independence. The social discord currently being experienced in our school system will negatively affect our society for years to come. Why you ask? The indiscipline being played out in our schools today will be the adults of tomorrow. Connect the dots!
What is lacking in today’s Barbados is respect shown by Barbadians to fellow Barbadians. There was a time when children respected the elders to the point even if they felt wronged they exercised restraint and sought to resolve a grievance by adopting a civilized approach. We will never have a perfect system with humans involved. What has become evident to the BU household for some time is the rapid deterioration of parenting skills caused by a society that is in perpetual drift -become loose from its moorings. The rising problem of indiscipline in our schools -whether teacher on student or student on teacher- will only be solved when we tackle it together.
We like to copy the North American way.