Nov 28, 2012 Editorial Comments Off on Flea-bitten
“Flea-bitten”, in modern parlance, has become a synonym for “creaky, decrepit, derelict, run-down and woebegone.” Queen’s College, the nation’s putative premier secondary school is in its second week of being overrun by fleas. We can safely assume that it has been literally ‘flea-bitten’. From facts revealed by the sorry episode, it appears that the figurative meanings may also be apropos.
First, the fleas. These have evidently been spread by cats and dogs that inhabit the school’s attic (cats) and environs (dogs). With the school having a full time custodial staff (with an Administrator) and a live-in caretaker, the question begs itself as to what were all these individuals doing all along. It appears that one or more cats had taken up residence in the school’s attic and had even given birth to a litter. It is obvious that this attic is not cleaned regularly by the custodial staff.
The problem of insanitary conditions at Queen’s College had long been a bugbear at the school and at every PTA meeting and Parent-Teacher conclaves it would be raised. Even a cursory ramble around the school would reveal an unsightly open garbage dump almost abutting the eastern side. The general retreat from any standards of cleanliness had also infected the student body, which freely litters even in their classrooms.
While the issue of a school’s hygiene might appear peripheral to its central mission of ‘educating’ its charges, surely the acceptance of responsibility for one’s surroundings must be part of that ‘education”. And we arrive at the question as to who or what body is responsible for the proper functioning of Queen’s which has the full apparatus of a School Board, a PTA, the HM and Deputy, along with Senior Staff.
As per the Ministry’s website, “On the issue of roles and responsibilities, the Board makes general rules and regulations to enhance the administration and governance of its schools using a system of committees. The responsibility for the day-to-day management of the school resides with Head / Principal and senior staff without the interference of the board.”
“PTAs will, in a structured way, play a role in the instructional programmes of schools, the general management of these schools (including the formation of rules, and the improvement in general performance of the school in curricular and extra-curricular matters), contribute to the improvement plans of the school and take action to assist the school in addressing its needs. These Associations will also undertake the acquisition and expenditure of all non-budgetary funds of the school, thus allowing teachers to concentrate on the teaching-learning process.”
From the foregoing, it is clear that it is the responsibility of the Head and the deputy to ensure that hygienic standards are maintained by the custodial staff, through their Administrator. It is our expectation that the lines of authority and responsibility will be clearly drawn and executed in the wake of this fiasco. More than all the soaring rhetoric about leadership that is delivered in the classrooms, the actions of the appointed and paid leaders at Queen’s will determine whether the students will actually imbibe the lesson on responsible leadership.
In the wake of the flea infestation, a parent, who claimed to be an alumnus of Queen’s, pointed out in our letter pages some other problems at the school which should be rectified immediately. It is unbelievable that in some cases there have been claims of no chairs or desks in the classrooms for the teachers. Is this a new way to make education ‘fun” by forcing teachers to hop around all day?
On the question of maintaining standards at Queen’s, much depends on the will of the Head and the quality of the staff. This newspaper has made no bones about supporting the so-called ‘premier’ schools – once admission is on merit. We have long advocated that the quality of the teaching standards at Queen’s must be of the highest standards, and this will only be possible if they are offered salaries that will attract the most qualified candidates.
Let us ensure that QC is not flea-bitten in both senses of the term.
Sep 22, 2019In overcast conditions at the Everest located a ‘stone’s throw’ from mighty Atlantic Ocean, day two activities in three-day Indigenous Heritage Games continued yesterday and climaxed late into...
By Sir Ronald Sanders “Hurricane Hell” and “The Bahamas is at war being attacked by Hurricane Dorian. And yet The... more
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]