- Bahamian youth must be at center of government policies
- Government reactive rather than proactive on public education system
- Teachers are valued professionals
- Epidemic of violence in certain schools must be addressed
The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) is of the belief that the future prosperity of The Bahamas hinges on the education and economic empowerment of our people. It is our position that the Bahamian youth must be at the center of government policies, initiatives and programs. Our education system cannot be tainted by politics or a reluctance to implement a real governance platform.
We are calling on all school administrators, especially those within the public sector to stand up for their teachers and ensure that all rules are enforced. The requisite focus must be placed on ensuring that there are no compromises in the application of rules and regulations within our education system.
Individuals familiar with the educational system are aware of the challenges faced daily by our hardworking educators. It is extremely difficult to work in conditions where teachers are constantly looking over their shoulders in fear or being blatantly disrespected in their classrooms. Teachers are weary of this situation and there is a level of frustration with the lack of attention to this matter.
The approach to matters confronting us within the public education system has been reactive rather than proactive. It is unfortunate that issues that could be addressed right away are being swept under the rug until the matter becomes more serious. This is not the type of position or environment that is needed. Administrators must always be proactive and intentional in reforming the system.
Teachers are one of the most valued professionals in any country and The Bahamas should not be an exception. They work tirelessly by going above and beyond albeit they are not adequately paid as they continue to positively impact and prepare the next generation of Bahamians.
The DNA calls on the Minister of Education to get involved. Meet with the teachers of the SC McPherson Junior High School. We salute them for standing in solidarity to protest a system and environment that hinder effective learning.
For too long, the Bahamas Union of Teachers has spoken about an epidemic of violence in certain schools. Evidently, nothing tangible is being done and their needs are not being met! It is time for the Minister along with the Ministry of Education to bring about plans that counter violence in schools. Legislation must be put in place to make serious actions punishable by imprisonment and granting school authorities to permanently expel violent students.
If we don’t act decisively with a strong hand to prevent these matters, we will constantly see issues like this and more resurfacing.
Dr. Matheo J. Smith
DNA Spokesperson for Education