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Saturday 18 November 2017
Letters to the Editor

Who’s really in charge of education?

THE EDITOR: Lately, I’ve been asking myself who’s really in charge? In the wake of a cellphone video of two Fatima College students going viral, Minister of Education Anthony Garcia has made some puzzling remarks.

Whether the video displays child’s play or something more malicious is not the focus here. My alarm has to do with the lack of accountability in the education system.

Firstly, the minister reiterated that principals should enforce the ban on cellphones with cameras, which has been a policy of the ministry for ten years. He further stated that it is the responsibility of school supervisors to liaise with principals to ensure the policy is carried out.

Strange then that when pressed on the issue of the policy’s lack of enforcement, he responded saying it wasn’t for him to answer but instead for the various school administrators.

Who’s really in charge here? To whom do the school administrators answer? To which ministry are they ultimately accountable?

Is it that the ministry received no reports of the policy’s lack of enforcement for ten years? Or is it, as seems more likely, that reports have been made but little to no action taken?

We have to ask ourselves if this is an actual policy of the ministry or mere suggestion that school administrators can opt to enforce.

Why should any of us expect our students to follow stipulated rules and guidelines when the example they spend seven plus hours with daily fails to enforce a decade-old policy, with little but a slap on the hand.

If there’s no respect for authority on the top, expect the same disregard to be present at the bottom.

JON HUBERT BRISTOL via e-mail

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