BUT’s beef

THE BARBADOS UNION OF TEACHERS (BUT) wants action on a range of issues plaguing education in Barbados.

In a bare bones presentation at its 45th annual general conference at the Savannah Hotel yesterday, president Sean Spencer pointed to indiscipline, school safety and security, the scope of teachers’ authority and the need for curriculum reform.

Declaring it was “not a crisis but a confluence of crises in schools”, he served notice the BUT would be canvassing the teaching fraternity for its input on several critical issues.

“The lack of discipline is the biggest problem facing schools since the role of education institutions cannot be discharged unless a disciplinary system is put into effect to curb deviant behaviour. Definitive measures need to be urgently reformed or in some cases wholly evaluated, or in some cases wholly formulated, evaluated, chosen, implanted and monitored.”

He suggested the current spate of gun-related crimes could be traced to more than a decade ago when recommendations were made in reports based on the findings of various commissions, which he shared with yesterday’s gathering. He said each of the documents from which he quoted, addressed “a number of problems and associated issues identified in the public education sector and or other social institutions”.