Sunday, October 25, 2020

Schools Reopen on Monday. What Should We Expect from President Wilson?

President of Bahamas Union of Teachers Belinda Wilson threatens industrial action if the Ministry of Education does not present a clear plan of its reopening procedures, as public schools begin the new school year on Monday.

In a voice note, Wilson said,”They (education officials) keep sending me the guidelines (health and safety) for the Ministry of Environmental Health. We’re asking how the Ministry of Environmental Health guidelines equate to what happens in schools.

“So it seems, the only language the education officials understand is industrial action.”

She said after six months of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, confusion and uncertainty about the health and safety protocols for teachers and students still loom.

Schools with recent COVID-19 cases on campus according to Wilson

Wilson said these schools were recently reported:

  • R.M Bailey High School
  • Anatol Rodgers School
  • Carlton E. Francis Primary School
  • Willard Patton Preschool
  • Albury Sayles Primary School
  • A.F Adderley Junior High
  • C.H. Reeves Junior School

Belinda Wilson wants a seat at the table

Wilson wants the Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd, Permanent Secretary Lorraine Armbrister and Director Marcellus Taylor “to mature.”

She is calling on them to meet with the union to agree to a workable plan for the reopening of schools, adding that other issues plague the system since schools will reopen using a digital platform.

Digital challenges claimed by Wilson

  • challenges with the tablets
  • internet connection
  • curriculum content on the platform
  • teachers can not log on to the platform for training

Belinda’s rocky relationship with education officials may hamper other discussions

Wilson’s relationship with Director Marcellus Taylor is known to be rocky, but her relationship has recently hit a rough spot with the education minister when Lloyd said Wilson sent him WhatsApp messages containing the words “f— y’all.”

Lloyd said his ministry will not hold discussions with Wilson until she apologizes and stops behaving in a “disrespectful and insulting” manner.

Lloyd told reporters that his ministry has tried its best to work with Wilson but to no avail as her actions have threatened the quality of education for Bahamian students.

Featured Image: Tribune

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