Students in Acklins demonstrate over teacher shortage

Students in Acklins demonstrate over teacher shortage

Lloyd says a teacher will be sent next week


Students of Snug Corner Primary School demonstrated at the campus on Acklins yesterday due to a shortage of teachers.

The primary school students, accompanied by numerous parents, held placards, one of which read: “No teachers, no school. End the story”.

In Parliament yesterday, Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd said the shortfall of teachers has been reduced, and it was not a proud moment for the Ministry of Education.

“I think it is now well known to the Bahamian people, and I am not proud to say so, but I wish to repeat at this time that the Ministry of Education suffers a perennial teacher shortage that we’ve been reducing over the years,” he said.

“It was as high as 100 teachers short last year, particularly in specialist areas, science and mathematics.

“This year, it is down to 38, but we still have a challenge in finding sufficient teachers to meet the necessary quota in our Ministry of Education.

“That matter is being addressed.

“I am satisfied to tell you today Mr. Speaker in the House of Assembly, we have secured a commitment of a supply teacher who is a resident of New Providence, but from Acklins and who will be going to Acklins as soon as matters could be arranged for her to be there — meaning that we will secure the teacher’s cottage and at the same time [allow] for her to wrap up her business here in New Providence.”

The elementary school has 27 teachers.

Highlighting the government’s obligation to provide students with quality, equitable education, and the convention The Bahamas is signed onto, Lloyd said students in schools on Cat Island, South Andros and Acklins deserve education comparable to students on New Providence and Grand Bahama.

However, the minister acknowledged that the ministry has not been able to live up to that commitment in the way it planned to, but plans are underway to remedy the matter.

Lloyd said he expects the teacher to be in place at the school in Acklins by next week.