At least three teachers at the Sophia Training Centre have refused to return for the new semester after being subjected to unruly behaviour and even threats.
Kaieteur News confirmed that the three teachers, who were in charge of the Furniture Making and Electrical Instillation departments, informed the school board that they will not be returning.
This was mainly because of the abuse and disrespect they received from the majority of students that attend these classes.
One staff member told this publication that teachers at the school are working under intense pressure because of the way the students behave in the classroom.
The teacher stated that the instance of teachers being roughly handled by students is nothing new. Because of this the staffers are afraid to scold the students and would usually resign when things got out of hand.
“When you talk to these children about the way they behave in the classroom they would start cussing and rushing up in the teachers’ face, like if they want to fight.”
Mr. Devon Shaw, who headed the Furniture Making Department, stated that he was transferred last year from the Carmel Secondary School to the Sophia Training Centre.
Back then, he had high hopes that he would have been able to teach the students the trade of furniture making.
Things did not turn out as planned.
Shaw revealed he was subjected to verbal abuse that “was beyond normal.”
“There was this time when I went in the classroom to begin teaching and there was this child that was playing with his cell phone in the class room so I went up to him and told him to kindly put away the phone so that he could focus more on the subject matter.”
“After talking to the young man and he did not respond, I tried to take the phone away from him and that’s when the cussing start.
This boy use all the bad words you could think of and then after cussing, he went to the front of the class, push down that chalk board and then proceeded on his way out of the school compound and that was when I make up my mind to quit.”
Mr. Shaw stated that he called the principal about two weeks before school reopened to inform her of his decision.
“Right now am not working and I have a family to take care of, but I refuse to be treated like trash, by students I would do anything for… just to see them learn a trade they could use to make money and not turn out to be thieves and robbers in the society.”
Ms. Roberts explained that most of the students that attend the school are from depressed communities.
She believes that many come from dysfunctional homes, growing up in an environment in which they are poorly supervised.
“We would normally encourage parents to come to the school and check up on your children, know how they are behaving and enquire if they are doing their work.
But the only time you would see the parents at the school is when vouchers are being shared out or if the school has some kind of event going on.”
Last year, five teachers resigned.
The school board recently introduced counseling as part of the curriculum.
Officials continue to urge students to attend the counseling sessions.
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