The Standard Five teacher accused of verbally degrading and abusing students of the Tranquillity Government Primary School has been removed from the classroom and will be presented with a cease to report for duty letter by the end of this week.
This was confirmed by Education Minister Anthony Garcia following a meeting at the school this morning.
Garcia made the impromptu decision to meet with the school’s administration after several voice recordings of the teacher were made by students and shared with their parents as to the level of abuse being meted out by the teacher.
Accompanied by the Chief Education Officer Harrilal Seecharan, Permanent Secretary Lenore Baptiste-Simmons, Advisor Cheryl Ann Wilkinson and other officials - Garcia admitted they were “very disturbed and very concerned” after learning of the issues affecting the school.
Garcia claimed there was a general lethargy regarding some members of staff who, “Don’t seem to be able to conform to the regular standards of good performance.”
He said issues of late coming, absences, and the administering of corporal punishment to students were chief among the problems now being reported as it related to staff performance.
Garcia said it was clear that school officials were not adhering to the school-based management system that had been put in place for such issues to be reported.
Revealing that five counselors from the Student Support Services Division had been assigned to the school and particularly to assist the affected students during this troubling time, Garcia said the teacher’s fate now lay in the hands of the Teaching Service Commission who would have to pronounce on what the outcome would be.
Seecharan confirmed the ministry had a cellphone policy in place for all schools, and this latest incident only reinforced the fact that it was not being adhered to.
Reporter: Anna-Lisa Paul