Sun | Jan 16, 2022

Calabar has lost its way

Published:Thursday | April 4, 2019 | 12:00 AM


When Calabar physics teacher Sanjaye Shaw endured what he called physical and verbal assault from members of the track team, he asked the principal for due punishment, which included a public apology during the morning devotion, which was denied. Mr Shaw got a lot of public support for standing up to what many still believe was the right thing to do, sharing the incident with the public to help to highlight what is obviously a festering problem getting worse in the school.

Shaw, it is said, has helped to improve the pass mark in physics dramatically over the years, and past students have rated him among the best in the Caribbean. He should be commended for risking it all with his stance over the incident. Although his suggestion for punishment was denied, it is ironic that after another disturbing incident involving students at the school has now surfaced (with video as proof), the acting principal (at the order of the Ministry of Education), will now have to stand in front of a joint devotion assembly (with Kingston College) and publicly apologise.

Something is not right at Calabar. It is clear that academia, discipline, and respect are no longer the priority. There is a serious problem with the school’s leadership. When Calabar’s board chairman can defend teachers in the disturbing video now gone viral, this also sends the wrong message.

There is no room for defence here. Even if they were trying to stop the derogatory chants, it was obvious that they had lost control and respect. If a video didn’t exist, the school would’ve probably denied the incident had taken place. Where were the teachers’ voices of collective support when Mr Shaw had his incident?

The acting principal should step down. He doesn’t understand his role or his responsibilities – he cannot manage. These boys have been misled. They’ve gone astray. A school is not a school without respect, discipline, and authority.

P. Chin