PARENTS of pupils at Las Lomas RC School, Cunupia, have written the Ministry of Education for help, as they claim pupils of a particular standard are fearful over their teacher and do not want to return to school.
The parents asked for the matter to be resolved or they would protest or take legal action. They claimed their children are being “robbed of a proper education” and wrote the Ministry of Education, seeking its intervention.
The parents alleged that for weeks the teacher had not been fulfilling his duties. In the letter, they said that at a recent Parent-Teacher Association meeting, they raised issues about the teacher.
They claimed that since the start of the school’s term, the teacher had been leaving at lunch time every day and was failing to return for the afternoon session. Other teachers have been left to teach the core academic subjects during the afternoon period, but the parents said this is not enough.
The parents also claimed in the letter that during the time the teacher is present, the teacher instructs the children to read a book instead of doing academic work with them. The parents also alleged that for minor indiscretions, the teacher does not allow the pupils outside during break time.
The letter also claimed: “He is hostile and unapproachable towards the students. If they attempt to ask a question or ask for a bathroom break he sends them back to their seats without any acknowledgement.”
Several pupils informed the parents that on September 18, two senior members of staff went to the class to speak to the teacher, who raised his voice and was verbally abusive to them. After they left, the teacher allegedly continued shouting at the pupils, leaving them fearful and several in tears, the letter said.
The parents stated their children are fearful of the teacher and do not want to attend school because of the teacher’s actions.
“This matter is urgent to us and neither we nor our children are comfortable with (the teacher’s) presence,” the letter stated. The letter added parents have tried to communicate with the teacher while outside the school, but were directed to the school’s principal.
The letter was copied to the Catholic Education Board and the school’s principal.
A Ministry of Education official said yesterday the ministry was aware of the allegations, and school supervision in the education district had commenced an investigation. Interviews will have to be done with all parties involved, the official said, adding there is a procedure which has to be followed and a person is innocent until proven guilty.
The ministry does not have the authority to appoint, remove or discipline a teacher, as this is done by the Teaching Service Commission, the official said.
Chief executive officer of the Catholic Education Board Sharon Mangroo said the board was also aware of the situation at the school. She said the vicariate manager who provides support to principals met last week with the school supervisor and this was one of the issues raised.
She said the board does not handle disciplinary matters, and the board is not a teacher’s employer. Mangroo said at the end of the day, the board has the interest of the children at heart.