Kaieteur News – It was not unknown in my time at school for male Teachers to become ‘friendly’ with some of the senior schoolgirls. While it cannot be said that these were intimate relations, it was not unknown for platonic relationships to develop between Teachers and Students.
At the time, this was not frowned upon as much as it is today because in those days the age of consent was much lower. But some Headteachers would have the occasional chat with the Teacher when they saw him becoming too friendly or affectionate with a female student.
It was not unknown then also for some students to end up marrying their Teachers. There are known cases of this too. But this was not a regular occurrence and if the two decided to get married it would not have been while the Student was attending school.
I am sure that most readers would have known about the rare case of a Teacher marrying a Student. And while such relations are not tolerated today, it is not unknown for this to be happening even though the relationship would have to be kept secretive.
The Ministry of Education should, if it has not done so already, establish some ground rules outlawing certain types of relations between teachers and students. This certainty would be consistent with ethical conduct which is expected of teachers.
The issue of ethical relationships is now a major issue not only in schools but also, as we have seen recently, in international organizations. Two cases one involving the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the second involving the Organization of American States (OAS) have directed the spotlight on the issue of what constitutes appropriate intimate relationships in the workplace.
In the latter case, a top official of the OAS has been linked to a relationship with a staffer. The OAS strictly forbids any Official from supervising another person with whom the Official has an intimate relationship. It also forbids the Official from participating in decisions concerning benefits or appointments to the staffer where there exists an intimate relationship between the two.
Just recently the Inter-American Development Bank was forced to let go a Senior Official after it was discovered that he had an intimate relationship with a staffer. If that were the basis for letting go Officials in Guyana, a great many of them would be given marching orders. It is known that some Senior Executives and Officials in both the private and public sector have been known to have affairs, including extra-marital affairs. Persons have been known to enjoy accelerated promotion and special benefits as a result of those relationships.
The two cases mentioned above highlight the need for ground rules to be established to govern intimate relations between staffers and their superiors in both the public and private sectors. But the Government has the obligation to set the standard and to establish the necessary rules.
It is not as if such relationships should be outlawed but surely there should be rules guarding against persons benefitting from such relationships on the job. You do not expect for example, that a secretary who has a relationship with her Boss should be promoted over and above a more deserving candidate.
To guard against such things, it is necessary to have rules concerning a conflict of interest. In such cases, the boss should withdraw from being part of the decisions concerning a staffer with whom the Boss has an intimate relationship or special friendship.
Readers will recall that many years ago, that when the close friend of the then President tendered for the purchase of a privatized entity, the President said he withdrew from the consideration of the matter when it came before Cabinet. But greater caution should have been employed in this particular case because even though the then President said he withdrew, the mere fact that he occupies such a powerful position can exert indirect influence.
The time has come for the Ministry of Education to outlaw any love affairs between teachers and students. It is hard to prevent people from falling in love but once they do in school, one has to be removed from the school.
Similarly, there should be rules governing issues such as appointments and promotions in Government Agencies. Once there is an intimate relationship between a staffer and Boss, then the Boss should be precluded from making any decision relating to the promotion or disciplining of the staffer or to recommending any such action.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not this newspaper.)
LOOK WHAT YOU’RE GETTING WITH 52%
Dec 08, 2022– Uniforms unveiled for One Guyana President’s Cup By Rawle Toney Kaieteur News – President Irfaan Ali last evening doubled down on the Government of Guyana’s commitment to the...
Dec 08, 2022
Dec 08, 2022
Dec 08, 2022
Dec 08, 2022
Dec 07, 2022
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – (The writer is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States of America... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, 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]