By Dale Andrews
Teachers at the Berbice High School are awaiting instructions from their union on what action to take following the physical assault on one of their female colleagues by a male third form student yesterday.
The teacher suffered a concussion and was forced to leave the school for medical attention after she was slapped behind her ear by the student around midday on Wednesday.
While Regional Education officials, including the Regional Education Officer, denied knowledge of the incident when contacted by this newspaper yesterday, well placed sources at the school confirmed that the school’s administration has launched an investigation into the matter.
The sources told Kaieteur News that the student’s mother was summoned to the school and the matter was related to her.
But according to teachers, no action has been taken against the student as yet. According to reports, the teacher who teaches Accounts and Information Technology was speaking to another student when the third former came up from behind and dealt her a ‘hard slap’ and ran away.
This newspaper was unable to ascertain the reason for the student’s actions against the teacher, who was described as ‘very quiet and easy going’.
The teachers are lamenting the fact that last February, the Ministry of Education through the Regional Education Officer, was swift to act against a teacher of the same school for disciplining students for the late submission of assignments.
On that occasion, the teacher who had been sent home, was subsequently reinstated but had to suffer the loss of two years’ promotion.
“Since that incident, you can’t talk to these students. It’s as if they were given the right to do what they want,” one teacher told Kaieteur News in a telephone interview.
The teachers are now questioning why no stern action is being taken against the student in the recent incident.
“They (Ministry) were quick to act when the teacher disciplined the children and now they are saying they don’t know about the child assaulting the teacher,” another teacher of the Berbice High School said.
This newspaper contacted president of the Guyana Teacher’s Union, Colwyn King, who said that he had leant about the incident yesterday.
He said that he had spoken to the Headmistress, who assured that the matter was being investigated.
King, too, was disturbed by the delay in taking action by the Regional Education officials in Berbice.
“When the teachers did ‘good’ in disciplining the children for their assignments, the Regional Education Officer went to all lengths to blow it out of proportion. The Minister got involved and the Teaching Service Commission got involved. You can’t have double standards. All teachers should get involved,” the GTU President told this newspaper.
He said that he will be issuing a definitive statement regarding the matter when he receives a comprehensive report from the Headmistress of the Berbice High School.
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