Wed | Sep 23, 2020

Educators need help

Published:Friday | February 21, 2020 | 12:35 AM


I am writing with great concern about the recent occurrences of abuse on our nation’s teachers. It is with great regret that our nation’s valuable players are seen as targets of outrage and lack of self-control.

The level of abuse seems to be limited to just line staff in the education system, but the administrators themselves are not immune.

The question one may ask is, how did we get here? The truth is that we got here due to the levels of disrespect, lack of appreciation and scant regard for the teaching profession.

When teachers are seen as the target of abuse and backlash from the public without first ascertaining the true state of affairs of the education system, it is easy to conclude that this is a precursor to the problem we face today.

I believe that now is the time for the Government and the public to act to save the nation from exploding into further damage. It cannot be the norm for us to hear in the media day in day out that teachers are fearful to go to work.

I, therefore, suggest to the Government to look at the following steps to remove the level of indiscipline in schools and stem the tide of assault on the education system.

1. Introduce legislation to remove rude and lewd pupils. This legislation will see the student who is exhibiting socially unacceptable behaviour be removed immediately from school and placed in a facility that can cater to the needs of such behaviour. It is counterproductive to have disruptive pupils holding the education system to hostage.

2. The laws of the land should have more teeth to quell the assault of our nation’s educators. I believe that the assault on a teacher should not be seen as just a personal assault and can lead to simple mediation, but should carry the full weight of the law. An assault on a teacher is a threat to the nation’s development and must not go unpunished.

3. Teachers must be given more recognition for their commitment to the system and should be compensated for the tremendous work they continue to do.

4. Parents should be mandated to attend PTA meetings. It takes all stakeholders to reform and stem this monster that seems to creep upon us.

I am persuaded that the education system can be fixed not by just mere talk and inaction but can be solved by a greater partnership and stronger legislation.

Christopher Johnson

Minister of Religion