Some teachers are not attending their classes
Stabroek News
April 6, 2002

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Dear Editor,

I am a single parent of two children attending a Secondary School, once rated in the top 10 in this country. I am very disturbed over the last annual exams at the school. The teachers hardly teach, as a matter of fact my Form 1 child hardly did any art for the last term, but did 2 pages in the September term. When the teacher gave them the test, they were at a loss because they didn't do any of the work. A brazen student stood up and told the teacher, Sir we haven't done that before, eventually the whole class stood up. He apologised to the students and put on the black board "Un-marked". What a humiliation.

Please bear in mind that this Art teacher is in school every day but doesn't turn up to teach in the classroom. I was told there are four male teachers who play cards and dominoes in the Industrial Arts Department. They are also entertaining form 5 female students in the department.

I look into the children's welfare on a daily basis. I also question when work is not done in their books. It's overbearing to hear one thing over and over and so I decided to write because to go to the school and vent your feelings means victimisation for the children when CXC comes around and the children are asked to pay lesson fees that were never given to them. I experience this with my eldest who was a student at the same school. And other forms of punishment. There is a male maths teacher who only goes to teach four days before pay day. Two cleaners are being paid for by the Region and every day my children have to clean the school yard and school. I don't mind them cleaning the classroom but the yard!

The reasons for so many dropouts of teenagers and for drug use stem from this system when they get into secondary school and teachers don't pay attention to the classroom. By the time you know it the 5 years of secondary education are up and they are all dunderheads.

I am very worried because I cannot afford a paid institution when my children fail and in the government provided system, the female staff sit in the staff room most of the day. Another serious problem, the school was given a gift of six computers. My eldest child left school and never had access to them and these two only see the teachers playing games on it.

Because of my limited financial resources my child is forced to buy fudge from her Food and Nutrition teacher if she wants to know what marks she got for her test. She also pay $40 for gas to do practical and this teacher use the same gas to make the fudge, bake pastries and force students to buy before they leave the department. This is a source of embarrassment for my child because of her limited amount of spending money among her friends.

I am told the classes are unattended most of the time because when a teacher finishes her period of 35 mins she doesn't wait on the other teacher to turn up before he/she leaves and all hell breaks loose. Sometimes teachers don't turn up for 3 periods so imagine what's going on. I check my children's books on a daily basis. My suggestion is a teacher must not leave the classroom until the other teacher arrives to take charge.

For our educational system to be of a higher standard we have to bring back the old time system of the school inspectors. This school is definitely getting out of hand and the Ministry of Education needs to immediately look into this matter.

The schoolchildren can be seen all over in their school uniforms during school hours, what is the school doing about it.

I haven't seen my children's report books for last term.

Yours faithfully,

Name and address supplied