There was absolutely no walk out at this event
The Stabroek News published the most bizarre headline in the newspaper of 22nd September 2012. It read “City Teachers divided over automatic promotion – walkout over food aborts corporal punishment discussion.”
The event reported on was a consultation hosted by the Ministry of Education regarding automatic promotion and corporal punishment.
In attendance were officials of the Ministry of Education, The Guyana Teachers Union, Teachers and Headteachers from all over Georgetown and several members of the press two of who I recognized as Kwesi Anthony Isles and Trevor Lakhram Bhagirat.
There were also cameras there including one from the Prime News which would have captured the entire event. The Editor/management of SN may wish to view this event for him/herself.
At about 12:30pm (and NOT 1:30pm as reported by the SN) the president of the GTU, Mr Colin Bynoe made the timely and welcome observation that we were moving onto another topic but that as a Ministry we were failing to respect the need for teachers to have a lunch period. I recognized that fact as true and apologised.
I then submitted the option to the participants there to abort the exercise and return another day. Some teachers chose that option while a larger number, in my view, abstained from choosing.
I decided to abort the exercise and return another day, thanked the participants for attending and assured that the contributions would inform our decision on the away forward.
There was absolutely no walk out or anything resembling a walk out as reported by the SN. It is insulting to all the teachers who were there and even those who were not there to suggest that teachers would be so indisciplined and unconcerned about these most important issues to have walked out of this consultation “over food” as the SN vulgarly and untruthfully published.
How is anyone of the hundreds who was present there ever to believe anything published in this paper again if a retraction is not forthcoming.
I expect the SN to offer an apology to all involved for this most inaccurate publication.