The teacher who headed Bagotville Primary School has been sanctioned by the Teaching Service Commission for things that she said were beyond her control.
According to the Head teacher, Ms. Corina Bassant, on Thursday last she was issued with a letter from the TSC, informing her that she was being transferred to another school.
Bassant added that the letter stated that she was being debarred from promotion for the next two years and that she has been demoted from head teacher to a Senior Mistress. The reasons given for the sanctioning was dereliction of duty and poor record keeping.
The woman said that the penalty meted out to her is unfair, given the conditions under which she was forced to work. Ms Bassant explained that her troubles with the Teaching Service Commission started in September when she was told that she was invited to a Fault Finding discussion.
According to the now demoted headmistress, during that discussion she was questioned about her absence from the school while school was closed for the holidays.
“During that meeting an official from the Regional Education Office was adamant that I was not in school for the pre term activities.”
However, Bassant said that the week prior to school re-opening, she was in school every day even on the Sunday before it reopened.
“The person from the Region, during the meeting, kept insisting that she sat in her car for almost an hour in front the school but the building was locked and there was a chain on the gate so I was not in school.”
This, according to Bassant, may have been the case, but given the school’s history of a mentally ill man entering the compound, she decided to lock the door because of fear.
“The fittest thing for the Regional representative to do to make sure I was in school was to check the building but she never did.”
In addition, Bassant said during the same meeting she was questioned about record keeping for the school. Following the meeting, Bassant said that she was told that she would be called when they were ready with the findings.
However, she said that she was never given a chance during the meeting to explain her plight. Bassant was issued with her letter two days after parents shut down the school in protest of the lack of teachers and the necessary facilities.
To all this, Ms. Bassant said that it was impossible for her to teach three classes per day, prepare notes of lessons for each class, and do records for the same three classes. This added to her dilemma since the school was never properly staffed since she took over.
She explained that since she took over the school she was only given two teachers to work with, both of whom were given time off to go to the University of Guyana.
“At a time when the other teacher had to go to University I am left in the school alone with all the classes to attend to.”
Nevertheless, Bassant said that she did her best with the resources made available to her. Bassant said that she will be seeking advice from the Guyana Teachers’ Union since they were not involved in the entire situation.
She said that given the recently concluded National Schools’ Championship she was unable to locate any of her Union representatives.
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