A video surfaced on social media yesterday of a handful of students from the Snug Corner Primary School in Acklins protesting a reported lack of a teacher at the school.
In the video, students can be seen holding signs that read: “We need a teacher now! Now, not September, now! ASAP”, and “I need a teacher now! Please Help!”.
According to the video, the school has been waiting for an additional teacher for a year now.
Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd told The Nassau Guardian yesterday that he was sorry and that the problem is currently being addressed.
“Any circumstance where our students are deprived of their proper educational opportunity is deeply regretted by me and I am very, very sorry about it and we’re working right now to address that situation,” Lloyd said.
He added, “So, we have secured a supply teacher who is committed and ready and able to go and as soon as she is able to bring her affairs here in the capital in order, which we hope will be within the next week, she will be in Acklins to provide support to that one teacher who is there.”
There are 27 students enrolled in the school, according to Lloyd, which is in compliance with their union agreement.
“According to our union agreement, we are permitted one teacher per 35 students so we are within the bounds of that, but that’s still unacceptable,” Lloyd said.
“The bottom line is that every student across this commonwealth has the right to a quality, inclusive education.
“Wherever that is not the case then it is my responsibility as the minister of education and our team at the Ministry of Education, to make that right and that’s exactly what we are doing.”
Lloyd added that the lack of teachers is an issue that will soon be eradicated with the implementation of the ministry’s technology initiative, which will see public schools across the nation outfitted with fiber optic capability and various technological advances.
“This is why the technology initiative that is now underway in the Ministry of Education is so critical to the effective and efficient delivery of education in this country, because once it is matured and rolled out completely the issue of teacher shortages that surrounds this country will be eliminated; not reduced, eliminated,” Lloyd said.