THA Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles on Monday visited several schools to meet with students and offer words of encouragement at the start of the new school term and academic year.
Charles, who also Secretary of Education, Innovation, and Energy, later told reporters he also visited the schools, on unannounced visits because he wanted to see for himself what was taking place and to test reports that repairs were in fact completed over the school vacation and the quality of the workmanship.
On his visit to Bishops High School, he told reporters he was satisfied that all works were completed on time and more importantly, that all principals had indicated that they were satisfied with the quality of the work done.
He did express dismay at vandalism at schools, citing the destruction of lighting fixtures at one school, and suggested that a programme to have parents and students assume responsibility for caring for furniture and fixtures at schools may be of benefit, especially in the context of scarce financial resources.
In terms of staffing at schools, Charles had previously announced a rationalisation exercise to facilitate placement of teachers in schools throughout the island.
Speaking at last week’s post Executive Council media briefing at the Administrative Complex, Calder Hall, he said the exercise was aimed at alleviating the confusion surrounding teachers being placed in schools they had not been assigned to, by the Teaching Service Commission.
“One of the unintended consequences of that would have been a situation where persons who may have been eligible for promotion, could have been denied such promotion because of where they were placed,” he said.
Charles said the Division has now taken up the responsibility to re-assign and place those teachers in the correct schools based on their initial appointments from the Commission.
“We decided that we had to do that quickly in order to facilitate appropriate planning at the start of the term, because if we didn’t do it now, it would have been difficult to do during the term. It would have been more upsetting,” he said.