I wish to bring to your attention the things that have been happening at a Mahaica Nursery School. For the past years the Headmistress (HM) seems to think she is above all; she does what she wants when and how she wants.
She has been attending the University of Guyana (UG) for years now or at least that’s the excuse she gives for her ever so often absence. Whenever she is not there the other two teachers are at a loss as to what is going on. When she is there she blames the other two teachers for not wanting to take up the lead role. She seems to be in the habit of collecting cash and gifts from some parents from time to time and does nothing for the school but rather pay more attention to the children whose parents support her.
There is a Jehovah Witness teacher who takes the church to work. She teaches the children according to what her church requires and not what is set out by the Ministry. These children are not allowed to say prayers and the pledge and whatever else may be against her religion. She also beats these children with a ruler, slaps/hits them in the head with a book and tells them hurtful things.
She should be teaching at a Jehovah Witness school only. When this was brought to the HM’s attention she did nothing because it appeared that they keep each other’s secret, because in front of parents she condones what this teacher does but in front of the teacher she speaks nicely of her.
There is a young new teacher who has been trying her best with these children; always polite, always smiling. Kudos to her.
This school also lacks exposure for these children. There are no activities that expose these children to the likes of society i.e Diwali, Phagwah, Mashramani, Easter, etc. Celebrations are not properly highlighted in school. These children are not given activities that can help them relate to these festivities.
When the HM is approached in relation to this she gives two answers; either the teachers don’t agree to do any activities with the children because the Jehovah Witness teacher cannot go against her religion and the other teacher is new so she cannot do it alone; or that nursery school is not compulsory.
School tours are also given the excuse that the places the Ministry sends the children to they do not learn anything and too many parents want to attend the tour.
I wish to suggest that the Minister/Ministry look into the affairs of this school. Children at this age need as much exposure they can while away from their parents. They should be able to match what they learn in school to what goes on in Society. When parents take them out they should be able to say boldly that they learnt it in school and should even be able to expound on it.
The Minister/Ministry needs to have a firmer stance on teachers who are lackadaisical in their work and attitude. If they don’t need the job then they are others who are willing to give their time and energy. I hope for the new school term this school will be blessed with a functional Headmistress who has the children’s needs at heart.
If UG is putting pressure on her then she should step aside and let someone else take up that role. And as for the Jehovah Witness teacher l think she should teach at her church instead of this school. What type of churchgoer is she who slaps children and hits them in their heads with the books and calls them names?
Please Minister, I also suggest that teachers, especially head mistresses, should be rotated to different schools because when they get comfortable in their environment they tend to think they are above the law and own the school.
We need to remember these children are our future and not the teachers’ pay package.
Now I would like to know if this Headmistress is above the law since at the last PTA meeting, to my surprise, this HM said that she heard that some parents are planning to protest in front of the Ministry for her. Her response was that, they can go because she is not afraid of anyone at the Ministry since this is her job. The Ministry don’t run the school.
This is the same head teacher who likes to say that the Ministry sent out a circular stating that teachers should not be collecting monies for anything for the school, yet she (HM) has resorted to taking a personal loan from the school funds and every time the issue of the financial position of the school is raised at meetings a proper report cannot be given.
We are only told of an amount and vaguely, a sum of what was used. Never anything in writing to show what was brought forward from the previous years and what would be carried forward to the next year. Proper book-keeping would show when money is received or taken out and what was done with it but this school always begging for donations and doing fund raising.
The HM also proudly says that the school doesn’t beg the ministry for nothing because they are good parents who contribute enough to sustain the school, is this right? Should parents pay for the weeding of the school compound, painting and the painter, etc.
There is also a cleaner whom the HM said is too old to clean certain areas. I believe if this teacher is a professional she would inform the Ministry so they can send someone who is fit rather than having someone working and getting paid under false pretense so she expects the parents to go to the school to clean it, aren’t these the things the Ministry should be taking care of?
And shouldn’t the cleaner be the first person to arrive at the school to ensure that the school is in good condition before the children arrive especially since there are rats and roaches and lizards running around overnight?
I would be grateful if someone from the Ministry can shed some light on this.
Since the Ministry has cautioned the HM about the late opening of the school, she has resorted to telling the parents not to send their children before 8:00 and that school starts between 8:00 – 8:30 am. After years of complaining to the ministry about the school not being opened early yet when children go after 8:00 am they still have to stand outside until a teacher arrives. I am also wondering what measures are in place to monitor these teachers arrival and departure time to work.
One of the setbacks is that the majority of parents is either illiterate or has only completed primary education, so the HM tramples over them. What she says is gospel to them. Those that try to seek help are discouraged since they have no experience in the business world so they are not aware of what procedures to follow or measures need to be in place and how to get about it.
Finally, I believe that this HM has friends within the Ministry since most times when complaints are logged at the Ministry this HM would take pride in informing all at the PTA meetings that someone went to report this or that about her even calling a few names and elaborating on the complaint. So again I ask is this teacher above the law?
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