Sunday, April 21, 2024

Teachers told: Commit or just quit


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Minister of Education Ronald Jones has presented an option to teachers: be committed to the children in your classroom, or leave the system.

Speaking at the 2018 Erdiston Teachers’ Training College graduation ceremony on Saturday night, he said teachers must respond to needs of the children or they might fall through the cracks in society.

“You have to be able to leave your mark on every child that you touch through your teaching . . . through encouraging that child to [learn], through clarifying the value perspective you come into contact with – your children. Because if you don’t see them as your children, a disconnect is going to emerge.

“So all the children you teach, all the children in the schools are in fact your children and you have to give them all the love and care, concern, and regard their well-being as you would do your own child in your own domestic space. If you don’t do that, something is wrong not with the child but something is wrong with you. And maybe the best thing that you can do would be to find another occupation somewhere else,” he stated.

Jones told the educators during the ceremony at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, that they must not only see themselves as teachers of academia, but as “parents” who would shape their students’ lives through encouragement and focus.

He maintained that children were not inanimate objects and that was why he strongly believed the role of the teacher was so critical and one of the most important in the lives of all children.

“They [students] have to be moulded and given a perspective of life and teachers are pivotal to that. Barbados wants that. Barbados is not comfortable with those children who slip through the cracks; children who make the journey to St Philip even if they don’t want to go there [Her Majesty’s Prisons] Dodds. We cannot be comfortable.

“When you open the papers . . . and you see young men as old as 16, 17, 18 murder somebody, doing something that is wrong that debases themselves and the society, teachers have to be concerned because they would have only been a few years removed from their control and from their guidance.

“I am not saying you are responsible for that, but I know that you feel pain just as I do as a result of those young men and women being cast into Dodds prison,” he added.

Among those in the audience was the oldest living Erdistonian, 99-year-old Avis Carrington. (SDB Media)


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