Teachers union calls government “lame” over new recruits

Teachers union calls government “lame” over new recruits
Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) President Belinda Wilson. (FILE PHOTO)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) President Belinda Wilson yesterday slammed acting Education Director Marcellus Taylor over his “lame” excuse on the stalled placement of 100 new recruits.

Last Week, Taylor told reporters that those teachers were still waiting to be vetted by the government to ensure that they are fit to be among students.

Wilson said in a statement that the BUT supports vetting new teachers, and have urged the Ministry of Education in previous years to ensure that new hires are vetted.

However, she noted 95 percent of the new teachers have been recipients of government assistance through scholarships, grants, assistance of tuition fees, or the teacher cadets’ program; and are graduates of The University of The Bahamas.

Additionally, she noted that the majority of those teachers were in attendance at the orientation for new teachers on August 21 and 22.

“The excuse is lame,” Wilson said, “and I contend it is incompetence and ineptness on the part of the Acting Director Marcellus Taylor, who is now categorized based on the lack of productivity at the Department of Education”.

She continued: “The teachers are needed.  They are needed now and it’s behind the scenes errors like this that is not visible which causes our schools not to operate smoothly and it impacts teachers’ productivity and students’ performance.

“So, I urge the acting director to perform his duties and make sure the new teachers are hired forthwith.”

During a press conference last Monday, Taylor said safety and security are major concerns.

“And, so, once those processes are completed, then I think the other mechanisms that have to come into effect in public service will then trigger,” he said.

“We are not going to engage people who we are not sure about and so that has to happen.”

Taylor said those 100 teachers will be engaged once the vetting process is complete.