Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

PS Education seeks medical attention in Cuba

Vinci Kallaloo was reliably informed that Nicole Bonadie-Baker, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education is in Cuba seeking medical attention.

Since the commencement of the new year, Ms Bonadie-Baker has not reported for duties. It has been rumoured that she may have suffered a serious mental breakdown. However, there has been no official word about her conditions. In fact several persons in the education sector are not aware that the head of the ministry has been out of office for nearly three months now.

Meanwhile, it seems as if Bonadie- Baker’s condition is such that it merits urgent medical attention in Cuba. Vinci Kallalloo will continue to update readers on the situation as more information comes to hand.

Permanent Secretary suffers nervous breakdown?

nicolebonadiebaker1

Nicole Bonadie-Baker, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education

Reports reaching Vinci Kallaloo indicate that something may be amiss in the Ministry of Education. Apparently, since the year began, the permanent secretary in that ministry has not turned up to work. There are rumours swirling about the place that the PS may have suffered a massive nervous breakdown. Efforts to confirm this have been futile. However, the unexplained absence of the good lady has raised a number of questions. Vinci Kallaloo will continue to monitor the situation and report accordingly.

 

The Catholics and the ULP!

Do you remember the last time the Catholics of this country rose up against the government? That was way back in November of 1999! The NDP was in office. Hundreds of Catholics took to the streets of Kingstown to protest against the dire conditions facing Catholic schools and the government’s failure to effectively address them. Less than two years later there was an election and the government came tumbling down. Catholics, it is surmised, went to the polls and voted them out with a vengeance.

The current crisis at the St. Joseph’s Convent School Kingstown (SJCK) presents a stark reminder of what happened in 1999. In the space of a week, teachers walked off the job; students bearing placards staged a vociferous protest. All of of this was against the actions of a newly appointed ULP government senator who filed law suits against the school and its key stake holders on the behalf of an ill-disciplined child and her misguided mother.

In all likelihood, other Catholic schools namely: St. Martin’s Secondary, St. Joseph’s Convent Marriaqua and St. Mary’s Primary could have taken to the streets in solidarity with SJCK. Indeed, this may still be an option if the goodly senator proceeds with his law suits against the Catholic educational establishment.

Hon Dr Ralph Gonsalves ought to be taking keen interest in these developments. He may recall that as a parent, he too joined the protest march of November 1999. It may be quite ironic if as prime minister the Catholic schools should lead a protest against his government all because of the vanities of one of the Comrade’s newest senator.

Dr Gonsalves can put an end to all this. He must neutralize this wild card senator and re-establish cordial relations with the Catholic Community. History must not be allowed to repeat itself. Remember, November 1999 marked the beginning of the end of the NDP in office. To this day, the party is yet to “catch itself”. Could it now be that the ULP is about to suffer the same fate?

 

Rats invading schools in SVG!

Rat Infestation

There is a massive rat infestation at the Kingstown Preparatory School, according to 2 Cool Chris.  Another report indicates that the Buccament Secondary School is also invaded by rats. Apparently, the rodent population is growing out of control so the rats are now invading the schools in some areas around the country.

According to reports, the infestation at the Prep School had brought to the attention of the authorities for som time now. However, nothing was done.  When school re-opened on Tuesday this week, it was found that the problem had worsened. So, a decision was taken to fumigate the school buildings and surroundings even while students were in attendance.

Some parents got wind of the situation and needless to say they were hopping mad. Popular radio announcer and social activist 2 Cool Chris was among the irate parents who flocked the precincts of the Prep School yesterday to withdraw his child from the situation.

Naturally, the parents were angry at the fact that the authorities chose the first week of the new term to deal with a situation that could have been addressed during the two-week Christmas break. Furthermore, fumigation was being done while the kids were in school!

Meanwhile, a similar situation is said to be occurring at the Buccament Bay Secondary School.  Someone claiming to be a parent called into one of the radio talk shows and complained to the host. The caller indicated that the principal has been trying to get the ministry of health to send in a team for some weeks now. However, up to this time there has been no response, no action. The rats continue to overrun the compound.

There is a fear that the problem at Buccament could get worse. This school is situated in very close proximity to the internationally renowned Buccament Bay Resorts. Failure to address the problem may result in the rats chasing winter guests  away from this beautiful and luxurious establishment.

Vinci Kallaloo is looking into these matters and will attempt to keep our readers abreast with the developments in this regard

PM Gonsalves and GHS Headmistress about to clash?

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, Soleil Gonsalves & GHS Headmistress Andrea Bowman

According to a well placed confidential source, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and GHS Headmistress, Andrea Bowman seem headed for a clash over a disciplinary matter.  Our source  in the Ministry of Education indicates that Soleil Gonsalves, daughter of PM Gonsalves was in possession of a cell phone that rang during an examination that she was sitting along with other students in her class.

In keeping with the widely known GHS policy of “zero tolerance” for cell phones in an examination room, young Ms Gonsalves was penalized. She was disqualified from the examination as per the school rules. This in effect meant that Ms Gonsalves was to be awarded zero marks for the examination in question.

Vinci Kallaloo understands that some time later, PM Gonsalves called the head mistress, Mrs Bowman and insisted that the decision to punish his daughter must be rescinded!  It is alleged that the Prime Minister even indicated that the “zero tolerance” policy regarding cell phones in school is wrong.  However, Mrs Bowman stuck to her guns and let the prime minister know that Soleil Gonsalves had breached the regulations and she should therefore bear the consequences like anyone else.

Not satisfied with Mrs Bowman’s position, PM Gonsalves called on the Chief Education Officer Ms Luann Gilchrist to intervene in the matter. Ms Gilchrist later contacted Mrs Bowman and among other things, called on her to revise the policy and to reverse the decision to impose a penalty on Soleil Gonsalves for her breach of he school’s regulations. Once again, Mrs Bowman stuck to her guns and insisted that the policy will remain and that Soleil Gonsalves must bear the consequencs of her action.

Meanwhile, the GHS teaching staff got wind of the situation and decided to throw their full support behind their headmistress. It is reported that the staff met and took a decision to march on the PM’s office if undue pressure is brought on Mrs Bowman to change the school’s policy or rescind the decision to punish young Soleil Gonsalves for breaching the school’s regulations.

Vinci Kallaloo is monitoring the situation. More will be posted as information come to light.

Laptops finally distributed…One school at a time?

Lap tops finally distributed!

After months of anticipation; after months of waiting; the Ministry of Education has finally begun the distribution of the lap tops promised to students and teachers by the ULP administration.

They must be commended! But, the distribution method seems strange. Why aren’t all the schools receiving the machines at the same time? Why the need to make a surprise announcement as to which school will be the next? The children have waited long enough. Let the machines roll out to the schools as expeditiously as we can.

Kudos must go to the government for this critically important initiative!

E. A. Ballantyne

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