Educator's Forum  

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  •  Programme recording 
  •  Introduction  
  •  Educational Newsbriefs  
  •  Educational Progress  
  •  History of The St. Christopher Boys School 
  •  Newspaper excerpt relating to lack of parental discipline  
  •  Implications for teachers on a high court ruling  
  •  Closing remarks 
  •  Mr. Matthew Farley Announces:                                                                                                                           Recording for Educator’s Forum for broadcast May 28th & 31st. 
  • Musical Interlude –song by a local artistes 
  • Mr. Farley:                                                                                                                                                              Well hello, and welcome to another programme of Educator’s Forum, your date with the most talked about subject – Education.  We want to thank you for this support you’ve given the programme and you’ve given the forum so far, with all the work that it’s been doing on behalf of the teaching fraternity in Barbados.Today, we have another special package for you – we’ll have a chat with the Public Relations Officer of the Barbados Association of Reading, Mr. Wilbert Morgan.  We bring you another series of the snapshots of our schools.  We have a heart searching message for parents, and a special feature where we talk to Mr. Patrick Frost as we look at the implications of the High Court ruling in the 8% pay cut for civil servants. 
  • Musical Interlude resumes 
  • Mr. Farley:                                                                                                                                                              Just to remind you before we talk to Mr. Morgan, that our 8th National Forum is scheduled for the 25th of June at Erdiston College Lecture Theatre.  On this occasion, we’ll be looking at the topic: “The Role of the Ministry of Education in Fostering Educational Change.” And the presenters will be: former Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Barbados here, Ministry of Education here in Barbados, Mr. Erskine Rollins; former District Education Officer in England, Mr. George Vaughn, who is a member of the forum; Mrs. Marguerite Cummins-Williams, who is a teacher of Queen’s College and strongly affiliated with the Barbados Secondary Schools union and from the Ministry of Education, Mrs. Idamy Deny-Gittens.  Of course all members of the fraternity and the public are invited. 
  • Mr. Farley:                                                                                                                                                             With me now is Mr. Wilbert Morgan.  Welcome to Educator’s Forum Mr. Morgan.Mr. Morgan responds:Thank you Mr. Farley.Mr. Farley continues:Now, you are here because your association – The Barbados Reading Association recently participated in the 37th Annual Convention of the International Reading Association, which was held in Orlando, Florida.  First of all, let me congratulate your association for having been involved in this international event. Would you care to tell us, how did it come about Wilbert? 
  • Mr. Morgan speaks:                                                                                                                                                 Well, the initial contacts for us was made by Mrs. Julia Harris, who sometime in 1991, December to be exact, helped us to organize with the assistance of the International Reader’s Association, a workshop entitled: “The Teaching of Comprehension.” Initial contacts were made at that point and when Mrs. Harris went back to her job in the States, she helped us to, she helped to make the contact for us; she helped us with housing and transport in relation to getting to Orlando. 
  • Mr. Farley:                                                                                                                                                             Now, how many members of your association actually participated in this international conference?Mr. Morgan responds:There were seven (7) members from the Barbados Reader’s Association that took the trip up to Orlando; and they were: Mr. Lemuel Jordan from the Audio Visual Aids, an Audio Visual Officer, Mrs. Beverley Neblet-Lashley, tutor at Erdiston College and there are some teachers from the … in the system.  Mrs. Orion Linton of Vauxhall Composite, Grayston Wires of St. Giles Primary, Mary Cumberbatch of St. Bernard’s Primary, Margaret Harding of Ellerton Primary and of course I teach at St. Lucy Secondary. 
  • Mr. Farley:Now I always like to find out, now what benefits did the association share having attended that conference? 
  • Mr. Morgan:                                                                                                                                                           Well, of course we were looking at, as we recognize we had people from right across the teaching fraternity in Barbados, anywhere looking for different things really.  Of course Mrs. Neblet-lashley was looking for information in relation to what she was doing at Erdiston.  Mr. Jordan, he was looking at audio-visual equipment - the latest of technology that he can employ.  I was looking myself at what was new in the secondary system and there were the other teachers in the primary schools who were looking to see what they could get to enhance what they were doing there. 
  • Mr. Farley:                                                                                                                                                             What was the theme of the conference? 
  • Mr. Morgan:
    The theme of the conference was probably literacy – yes, “Reading for Lifetime – The Challenge for Language Diversity in the Classroom.” 
  • Mr. Farley:                                                                                                                                                                  A very, A very interesting topic.  Are there any things that stand out in your mind, having attended that conference yourself Mr. Morgan? 
  • Mr. Morgan:                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, of course, I was impressed by what is happening in education generally, and you must keep in mind that when you think of the International Reading Association that this is a body that comprises of educators from around the world and they are the latest in what is available in education and I was very impressed in the novelties in the system, you know, there are a number of new things, that I’ve been exposed to since I was there. 
  • Mr. Farley:                                                                                                                                                               For example? 
  • Mr. Morgan:                                                                                                                                                              For example the whole point on making assessments in…, from discussions, making assessments out of discussions, that is something that has impressed me.  Other things in which I was impressed was the teaching approach that is current in the States now.  I was impressed too with the use of technology.  The kind of technology that is available and how it is impacted in the classroom. 
  • Mr. Farley:                                                                                                                                                           Having seen and having been exposed to the situation in the States.  How do we compare, in terms of our technology, in terms of our reading.  How do we compare? 
  • Mr. Morgan:                                                                                                                                                           Well, we have some way to go. … 
  • Mr. Farley:                                                                                                                                                                  A long way Mr. Morgan? 
  • Mr. Morgan:                                                                                                                                                              We are moving in the right direction I think, from what I can gleam from system, but we still have some where to go to catch up. 
  • Mr. Farley:                                                                                                                                                            What do you think would be necessary for us to start that process of catching up? 
  • Mr. Morgan:                                                                                                                                                            Well first of all you need the understanding of the administrators in the system and then we need of course some training necessary, mind you. 
  • Mr. Farley:                                                                                                                                                             Well, first I want to congratulate the association for the work it has been doing as far as creating a consciousness of the importance of reading the schools’ curriculum.  Now how will the benefits which your associations derive from having participated in this international conference be passed on to the teachers in the system to the children in the classroom? 
  • Mr. Morgan:                                                                                                                                                            Yes, well, some of the members have indeed been interviewed by the Personnel at the Ministry of Education and I gather from there that provision is made; provision will be made for them to speak to the principals in the schools.I, myself I have arranged to undertake some workshops at my school which I hope would bring the members there a little more up-to-date with the things that I saw.  And some of the members are out speaking to not only teachers involved but speaking to parents as well and they can do to help their children along the road to literacy. 
  • Mr. Farley:                                                                                                                                                            Could the whole question of recovering literacy and improving reading is everybody’s business? 
  • Mr. Morgan:I would like to think so.                                                                                                                                   Mr. Farley: Is there one message you would like to leave with your fellow colleagues out there who are working hard in the classroom. 
  • Mr. Morgan:                                                                                                                                                            Yes, of course, and it is to redouble your efforts because it is very worthwhile indeed.  I was impressed by indeed one of the opening addresses of the convention by Mr. Mayer.  And he establish a relationship between what is happening in the classroom and crime in our society. 
  • Mr. Farley:
    Interesting relationship? 
  • Mr. Morgan:                                                                                                                                                             And I seem to think that he was saying that those children that are neglected are the ones that, usually the ones that commit the crime, and it is important to work on those children, to get them to do, to think and he’s found that those children that can think, hierarchical skills and analyze are the ones that very often stay out of the criminal activity in the society.  So there is that kind of relationship, and I think that those in the field, those practitioners in the field should be conscious of that and should recognize the importance of the task that they are performing. 
  • Mr. Farley:                                                                                                                                                               It’s a task which says that we’re suppose to produce readers, people who are literate, and then have no alternative but to pursue that kind of course rather than turn to crime.                                                                                                                 Mr. Morgan:Yes indeed 
  • Mr. Farley:
    Mr. Wilbert Morgan, Public Relations Officer of the Barbados Association of Reading.  Thank you very much Mr. Morgan. Mr. Morgan:Thanks for having me. 
  • Musical Interlude heard 
  • Mr. Farley:                                                                                                                                                               We now bring you,another in a series of programmes which we call snapshots of our school.And this evening’s programme, we highlight the school, which is called the St. Christopher Boys School.  It is located in St. Christopher, Christ Church and we’re told that it use to be called The Rockley School or The Below the Rocks Boy School.  The exact date for its establishment is not known, but it is believed that it was established sometime in the early 19th century.In its previous sights include: St. Christopher and an area called “Below the Rocks.”The first principal or the one for which records exist was Mr. W.E. Agard.  There was also Mr. W. Nurse and other principals include Mr. C.A. Phillips, Mr. George A. Warner, Mr. M.M. Lynch, Mr. C. Norgrove, Mr. C. Roachford, Mr. L.C. Cheltenham and Mr. W.W. Alleyne.The following persons also perform duties of acting head teacher at the school: Mr. G.A. Moe – between 1965 & 1967.  Mr. J. King – September 1971-January 1972.  Mr. C. Lowe – September 1978-March 1979, and Mrs. J. Hamlin – recently 1989-1990.The school’s motto is: “Strive for Excellence in whatever you do,” and from a philosophical standpoint, the school seeks to help each student to realize his full potential academically, spiritually, socially and physically, and it also seeks to create a sense of pride in each student.The current role is 287 children and there are 16 teachers. Among its major achievements we are told that the school has been outstanding in the area of sports and games, especially cricket and football.  And some persons outstanding in our society, for whom it is the Alma mater, we have former Chief Justice of Barbados, Sir William Douglas.  Mr. Big Bird – Joel Garner.  Former Chief Education Officer – Mr. Erskine Rollins.The current principal is Mr. John Ifill who took up that post in 1981, and we’re told that the building which housed the school at the current moment was a gift of the Canadian Government and it was officially opened on the 8th of September 1970 by his Excellency Mr. G.A. Raw, High Commissioner of Canada.Another educational institution that continues to touch the lives of thousands Barbadians – the St. Christopher Boys School, and from the forum and from the fraternity we say – “Carry on, St. Christopher Boys.  Carry on.” 
  • Song played by a local artiste 
  • Mr. Farley:                                                                                                                                                              Just before we hear from Mr. Patrick Frost and we look at the implications of the 8% pay cut and the high court ruling.  I have a special message for parents which I’m sure you’re going to find very, very touching and heart-rending.                                 Musical Interlude: song – “Don’t Cry for me Argentina” being played 
  • Mr. Farley:
    When an individual’s criminal actions leads to a fate of death by hanging or imprisonment, one often wonders who is to blame – parents perhaps, teachers, the society?When mothers’ bellies burn, as we say in Bajan, are they crying for themselves or their sons.Richard Hoad, a few weeks ago, in the Weekend Nation of Friday, April 17th, wrote under the title: “Don’t Cry fuh me Mamatina.”Mamatina, I see yuh crying and bawling, and holding yuh belly next to muh bed.  De same way yuh was crying and bawling and holding yuh belly in the court yard, when I did get send to prison.  But you should know that this is not the time fuh crying mamatina.  The time fuh crying was long ago.  And ef yuh fuhget, leh muh tell yuh wen it wuz. You remember, how when I was a little boy, cud barely walk, one day I pull off de table cloth and brek a dish, and gran gran slap me on me hand and I run to you with, “mamatina, gran gran hit me,” and you quarrel and tell she, “never again you touch my child.” – That was time yuh shudda cry mamatina.  Cuz I learn that day that I could get away with anything so long as I call you by yuh pet name, mamatina. And when I use to skip school and go to the sea, you told the headmaster that I does suffer wid asthma, and we use to laugh at how Ms. Bishom  got “Bum Bum” marching off to school come rain come sun and mek him stay in and do homework. – Yuh shudda cry then too mamatina.  Cuz Bum Bum now studying Accountancy and he got a bundle CXC Certificates that Ms. Bishom got framed and hang up in de house.  What you got to hang up for me mamatina?  Seven convictions and three months in jail.  But you did always making it easy for me mamatina. Like de day when de headmaster catch me and “Goat Mout” brekking de school windows and gimme some lashes and de evening you went and brass him up proper and tell he if he ever do it again, you gine geh he a body slam. Yuh remember de Good Fridee when uncle come down from Arch Hall and sa he teking me ta see de Crucifixion at the Empire, and I call you in the kitchen and whisper how me and de udder fellas did plan to go to Kung Fu Killers at de Bridgetown.  And you went out and tell uncle how I got a headache and can go? You remember that mamatina? – That was another time yuh shudda cry.At 14, I was done wid school and went as a “reprentice” to Mr. Garnes to learn motor mechanic and after I complain how he mek me clean up de yard and put away all de tools on evenings, you say your son eint nuh yard sweeper and tell me come home and rest muh self.  Daz when I start hanging out wid de rude boys at de corner, mamatina.  And even de reverend warned you that I getting into bad company and that de gangs using 16 and 17 year olds as hit men because duh can get hang, but you tell him that boys will be boys and yuh can’t keep children in glass houses in a glass case.  Yuh remember mamatina?And when I start to bring in new clothes and new shoes and radio and video, you never ask a question weh I get de money from?  But you did know and yuh shudda cry den.  And it went from bad to worse.  De day de police come tuh search de house, you tell me go out tuh dem and I was frighten, but they din find find nuttin cuz you throw de herb in de toilet and hide de gun.  I didn’t even know you knew I had dem tings mamatina, but den duh hold me fuh going in a woman house in St. Joseph and you went in de shop and brag dat ef you gotta whore, you must get de best lawyer fuh yuh son. – Dat is another time yuh shudda cry mamatina. But I went to prison, and I get tuh read de bible and it show me dat ef train up a tree from young, it would go de right way.  And dat he dat spareth de rod, hateth his son.  And I realize dat you never even train me, so you must have hated me, but it was too late fuh me to change my ways.  Anyway, iz my turn now, cuz yuh bawling and yuh weeping and I here pun deading.  And all going through my brain is, “God I hate dis woman dat raise me up like dis.”So yuh isn’t fooling anybody mamatina.  Yuh know very well dat de gang boys only beat me up because I keep back some of de money from the last job to help you pay for the new dinette set.  So doan cry fuh me mamatina.  Cry fuh yuh blasted self. 
  • Musical Interlude –“Don’t Cry for me Argentina” playing 
  • Mr. Farley:The recent high court ruling by the Chief Justice in relation to the 8% cut of civil servants’ salary has virtually sent a panic among civil servants and of course that includes teachers.  I had a recent chat with Patrick Frost of the coalition, who is also the General Secretary of the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union.  In terms, not so much of the ruling itself, but the implications for teachers. 
  • Mr. Patrick Frost speaks:                                                                                                                                           First of all, it is our understanding that the chief Justice has contended that the Civil Establishment Act of 1949, which allowed the Minister certain powers to vary, the emoluments of public officers, that that is an existing act under the constitution.  And therefore the 1991 Act that is the reduction of Public Service Emoluments Act would be regarded as a modification of that act.  And since the existing act was protected by the constitution, this would have allowed, therefore the salaries of public officers to be varied in that way.He also indicated that section 112 of the constitution specifies certain persons by name and by office rather, not by name, that’s the Auditor General, Chief Justice, the members of the Judiciary Legal Service Commission, The Public Service Commission and so on, whose salaries and emoluments are in fact specifically protected and since other offices are not protected, then it was argued that since they were not mentioned their salaries could in fact be reduced during their working life.And it is our understanding, that those are the two main grounds on which the judgment was given. 
  • Mr. Farley:                                                                                                                                                                  I think reference was made to sound the nature of the contract between the Crown and the employee. 
  • Mr. Frost:                                                                                                                                                               Yes, there was a reference to that.  It wasn’t develop fully as far as we understand, but it would seemed to suggest that there is a contractual relationship between the public officer of the civil servant and the crown, an act common law, it would appear to us, that that can be varied at will by the crown, dismissed at will.But the Chief Justice did not go into that particular matter fully. 
  • Mr. Farley:
    Now, Mr. Frost, this ruling has in a sense sent a panic throughout the public service, among public servants and of course this include teachers as well because we have been professionally socialized into thinking that as permanent employees of the crown, that we enjoy a certain entrenchment, a certain insulation against certain things.So that we were brought out to believe that security of tenure is something that is guaranteed.  We were brought up to believe that our pension rights were always intact and could not be touched. What is the situation now given this ruling? 
  • Mr. Frost:                                                                                                                                                                Let me start with the last one first – pensions.  It is quite clear that teachers, public officers do not enjoy pension as an absolute right, that is specified in the law.  There is no doubt about that.  We’ve known it for quite some considerable time.  At least one union has passed a resolution demanding that that particular section of the act be amended.  It has been brought up on more than one occasion with the Government.While the law says it is not an absolute right in one, and therefore cannot guarantee that one would get that or the gratuity.  Nevertheless, the history has been that no-one has been deprived of their pension in normal circumstances.  That is if they were dismissed for cause and therefore they forfeited their pension rights,that is one thing.  But officers having worked to full life and gone out with unblemished record, we have no indication of anyone who has not been given pension or gratuity.  So in a sense the comfort was in the experience.Turning to the first point, that is the question of security of tenure.  As I mentioned earlier, the Chief Justice did not go into whether the constitution does protect the public officer in the way in which some of us believe it might do or should do.  That is to say that we have a right to continue employment unless that employment is terminated for a cause, or if it is not terminated for a cause, then there will have to be exceptional grounds and the whole question of compensation and so on would arise.One thinks in the case of the former headmaster of the Lodge School, whose services were terminated but then he was not a public officer in the sense in which persons are public officers now, and therefore, I think that that is a matter which still lies or would lie before the courts.  But I would also wish to say that this is the first judgment and it is perhaps premature to believe that if it goes all the way to the privy council that it may not be overturned.We believe that there are certain parts of the judgment which are still subject to question and we would hope that in the next stage or the third stage that the variation in the decision would be the one which we were looking forward to. 
  • Mr. Farley:
    There are those Mr. Frost who would want to suggest that the coalition and trade union generally, and speaking in Barbados need to put the whole question of constitutional reform tops on their agenda.  How would you respond to that? 
  • Mr. Frost:                                                                                                                                                                   A constitution is a dynamic piece of legislation and all legislation is subject to change to be defined and re-defined as time goes on and as deficiencies and weaknesses are shown up.  And if in fact there is a weakness in our constitution, then obviously in it is in our interest to have that weakness corrected. But then remember whatever changes and alterations we make with the knowledge that we have now, a situation may come along later on where that very said constitution is itself found wanting.  And we shouldn’t believe that just because we’ve had a judgment given here in this particular matter that if we re-wrote parts of the constitution that it would necessarily solve all matters of security of tenure and the protection of office because perhaps a situation that we do not envision may arise whereby much the same situation that we are in now happen.  I don’t think anybody in 1966 and framing the constitution anticipated that anybody would at anytime reduce the salary of the holder of a public office. We have many instances where the office has had the salary revised and in some cases, downwards, it was a degrading exercise, but the holder of the office never had the salary reduced to his disadvantage.  
  • Mr. Farley:                                                                                                                                                                So before we get to the actual privy council, you seem to be suggesting Mr. Frost that the main hope now for civil servants lies with the ruling of the privy council.  Is that your assessment? 
  • Mr. Frost:                                                                                                                                                               Well have the local court of appeals first and we would like to think that when the arguments are put forward we will be able to persuade them.  But if that is not possible then, we feel duty bound to go to the final arbiter.  You start a legal process and it seems to make no sense to start that legal process if it has not carried out its logical conclusion.  And when it has gone the whole way and the final judgment has been made if it goes against you then you know precisely the limitations of the constitution and the limitations of your service.  
  • Musical Interlude – Song by a local artistes 
  • Mr. Farley:                                                                                                                                                             Well, we want to thank you for listening to another programme of educators once more educator’s forum once more.  We ask you to join us now weekly on Star Radio and 790 VOB for your special date with education.  I’m Matthew Farley for The Committee of The National Forum on Education. 
  • Musical interlude – song by local artistes
    1. Yuh – You 2. Muh – My 3. Fuh – For 4. Ef – If 5. Fuhget – Forget 6. Leh – Let 7. Wen – When 8. Wuz – Was 9. Cud – Could 10. Brek – Break    11. Shudda – Should have    12. Cuz – Because    13. De – The    14. Wid – With    15. Mek – Make    16. Breking – Breaking    17. Gimme – Give me    18. Gine – Going to    19. Geh – Give    20. Udder – Other    21. Eint – Isn’t    22. Nuh – no    23. Sa- Say    24. Teking – Taking    25. Daz – That is    26. Tuh – To    27. Din – Didn’t (Did Not)28. Dat – That 29. Weh – Where 30. Dis – This 31. Iz – Is 32. Tings – Things 33. Den – Then 34. Nuttin – Nothing 35. Duh – They 36. Pun – On 37. Deading – Dying 38. Doan – Don’t (Do Not)

Title:Educator's Forum
Creator:Mr. Matthew Farley