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Hon. Walwyn putting cart before the horse - Parent

Mixed reaction to Board of Directors at govt. schools
The Bregado Flax Educational Centre (left) in Virgin Gorda and the Elmore Stoutt High School on Tortola are two of the schools selected to pilot the school board initiative from September 2013. Photo: VINO/File
Minister for Education and Culture, Honourable Myron V. Walwyn made the most recent announcement about have school boards implemented from September 2013 while speaking at the Elmore Stoutt High School’s graduation ceremony on June 27, 2013 and had named three schools to pilot the programme. The schools selected are Althea Scatliffe Primary School, Bregado Flax Educational Centre and Elmore Stoutt High School. Photo: VINO/File
Minister for Education and Culture, Honourable Myron V. Walwyn made the most recent announcement about have school boards implemented from September 2013 while speaking at the Elmore Stoutt High School’s graduation ceremony on June 27, 2013 and had named three schools to pilot the programme. The schools selected are Althea Scatliffe Primary School, Bregado Flax Educational Centre and Elmore Stoutt High School. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - The Ministry of Education has publicly announced more than once that come September 2013 it will be testing the Board of Directors system at some government schools across the Territory. This has been met with mixed reaction by parents, teachers and principals of the schools.

Minister for Education and Culture, Honourable Myron V. Walwyn made the most recent announcement while speaking at the Elmore Stoutt High School’s graduation ceremony on June 27, 2013 and had named three schools to pilot the programme from September 2013.

The schools selected are Althea Scatliffe Primary School, Bregado Flax Educational Centre and Elmore Stoutt High School.

"Within this coming school year we will be implementing school boards at a few pilot schools across the Territory; Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS), Bregado Flax Educational Centre (BFEC) and Althea Scatliffe Primary School (ASPS). These boards will assist in the overall management of our schools ensuring that issues are resolved faster, the day to day management is more efficient, our teachers have the opportunity to focus on teaching and students are allowed to attend a school that is properly managed. Properly managed schools have proven to produce top student performers and that is exactly what we want for our children," the Minister had said.

Contacted by this news site, principals, teachers and parents of the schools chosen to pilot the initiative gave mixed reactions to the implementation of school boards. Most of the parents and teachers with whom this news site spoke said they were hearing of this development for the first time from us.

A parent said, "Look this is another thing they want to use to put money in their people’s pockets. They claiming how VIP left the country broke and they haven’t got money and all they doing is finding ways to spend more money. The next thing you going to hear is a hundred thousand dollar-dinner for board members because they give voluntary service. I know they would want to use the volunteer word but they will still have to give those board members a stipend or something thing," said a parent who disagreed with the proposal. She added, "Let them high heels and bow tie and shirt officers in Education Ministry get up from their behinds and do their works. Boards are for private schools I don't know any government school in the Caribbean with a board system and if they are I bet my last dollar it’s a mess because the Ministry would stick their noses where they don't belong."

There were two teachers from the primary division of Bregado Flax Educational Centre, a parent and a teacher from ESHS, and a teacher of the ASPS who all had similar views. One teacher even said, "The Minister putting the cart before the horse and that's the problem I have with this government. They do things highhandedly. I listened to Myron at the graduation and when he spoke of it, you know it’s a decision that is concrete but how could you when you haven't even brought this to the parents as yet. I bet you no principal has any official document from him about this and this school year done. Nonsense man, they got to start doing things the right way," said the emotional woman.

"You see all this bashing of NDP and VIP...I don't necessarily like it because we are one people but looking at it the NDP really messing we up now that they in government. They just keep doing things highhanded and this board thing going to bring a bigger fight among we people because I know they going to put their cronies and this thing got teeth a telling you," said a parent who chose only to be named as Mr Melville. "They will know who I am still but I have a right to democracy but I don’t want anybody messing with my children so you use that name alone," he added.

"Well it’s sad that we have to be hearing of this through you. This was never discussed with us and we are at the end of the school year already," said a teacher of the Bregado Flax Educational Centre. She, like most of the others, said that the initiative is a good one and would provide a channel for quick response to matters of the school.

"The bad part of this is that they would want to throw this suddenly on us, putting who they want, their own people and that's my problem," said another parent. He said that while he supports the idea, the Education Ministry’s personnel need to call a meeting of parents to discuss the composition of the Board of Directors, their roles and responsibilities and who will do what," he opined.

Ms Maduro, a parent, said she was against the idea of schools boards for government schools. "The school here (Virgin Gorda) going very well as it is under the present administration and they should leave it as it is because they going to put a board and they are going to be nothing but a rubber stamp because the Ministry will still micro manage and that's not an opinion it’s a fact," she said.

The issue of micro management was a concern to almost everyone but on the other hand there were those who went for the idea. "I really think it’s a good move because Education Ministry is a big one with the responsibility of all the schools and because of that matters that are taken to them usually have to go through a very long process and most time has to be dealt with collectively and not as an individual situation," said the Principal of Althea Scatliffe Primary School, Mrs Marieta Flax-Headley.

She also said that while she supports the move, there needed to be work done earlier to ensure a smooth introduction of the new system. "The Minister did tell me that my school will be one since earlier this year at a heads meeting. Since then I haven't had any further details, I haven't received any official document, we had no further meeting to discuss this and then if this will have to be in place for September it means a lot of work would have to be put in during the holiday break. They really needed to have this earlier," said Mrs Flax-Headley.

She shared her opinion on how she felt the board should be composed and as expressed by parents themselves, a meeting of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is urgent.

Mrs Flax-Headley said each school is unique and so are some issues they may have and hence board system will allow for those issues to be dealt with in a timelier manner than it is currently being done under the Education Ministry.

20 Responses to “Hon. Walwyn putting cart before the horse - Parent”

  • ooooo (02/07/2013, 08:31) Like (4) Dislike (16) Reply
    this aint the man who said that all schools should be equal?
  • qc (02/07/2013, 08:50) Like (7) Dislike (33) Reply
    more blah blah blah from ugly man...teachers never heard of the prgramme
  • bvi (02/07/2013, 09:07) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    poor heley girl you will be in hot water for talking to the media
    • @ bvi (02/07/2013, 23:04) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      dem say she done get ah call from the Ag. CEO...set of oppressiors
  • egg face (02/07/2013, 09:58) Like (6) Dislike (19) Reply
    the rookie at it again poor child
  • asura (02/07/2013, 13:32) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    even throw he spinning in the mud and going no where fast Myron must be given credit for trying
  • virgin gorda (02/07/2013, 14:36) Like (0) Dislike (8) Reply
    Minister its a good idea but we have more pressing things to address
  • BVIslander (02/07/2013, 15:25) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    What is the matter with Walwyn? Would somebody tell me? He is changing and doing so many things to our Education system, that is is confusing. He needs to be focused on what is happening in the schools and the environment in the school instead of focusing on implementing this and that. I also understand that the Technical School will be closed come the end of the year? When the children do not make it in the primary schools or the high schools, what is Walwyn going to do with them? What craziness!!!!! And not only that, there are teachers at that school who will be losing jobs as well? Has this been thought of? What will become of the BVI. God help us! The NDP is wreaking havoc on this country! Everybody is on an ego trip and in the mean time our children and young people are suffering! Politics! Only God can really help us. Let us really pray for these islands christian friends!
  • Mole (02/07/2013, 17:22) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    This is a typical knee jerk reaction of walwyn
    • say it aint so (02/07/2013, 23:24) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Political interference, the biggest problem all around in the BVI and the Education system
  • Why (02/07/2013, 19:55) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Why Is Althea Scatliffe Primary School The Only Primary School That Is Getting To Use This System?
  • ABC (02/07/2013, 23:11) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Although I am a supporter of Myron and the NDP overall I must question his motives in some of these new plans
    • Think again (03/07/2013, 22:15) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Hmm maybe he trying to out do the previous Minister. Just saying.
  • Common Sense (03/07/2013, 08:30) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Now I'm up for giving anything a try in the hope that it will yield the wanted results so I have no problem with the concept behind it BUT lets talk about 2 things I do have a problem with now lets talk common sense:

    1. You all say the Government has no money, yet your trying to find more ways to give away what you don't have, sounds like crazy talk to me, cause we all no a bankrupted Government is no Government at all, we elected you to do good for the country, to think smarter to come up with solutions to the problems, not throw money at it and hope it will solve itself. Are you Government officials or Bad Accountants.

    2. Respect is key, you all want people to respect you and your decisions, yet your constantly doing things without speaking with or waiting to hear any feedback from the people that elected you who are also your clients, muchless your own employees. We didnt elect you so you could do what you want, we elected you to help the community, so listen to us for once, to find out what our issues or problems are, is it too much to give the community that elected you some respect?

    We can do better yes but can you?
    • Why so smart? (03/07/2013, 10:17) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Let we do this thing!, there is no need to even think about it, after all we in education ain't like we does think about anything anyway we just do it, no need to talk to the community they only elect you, but you know what's best for them, so don't even listen to them cause that's how we can just do this thing. forget cart before horse, we have train without tracks, we have car without tires, plane without wings, we have cart without horse, yet we claim we moving
  • Wiseone (03/07/2013, 10:00) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    On a real it seem like they lording over us with their decisions, they aren't asking us what the problems are anymore, their telling us they make the plans and we have no say but to live with it either way, just look at everything they have to say, its not we proposal for a plan anymore, its come this day this is what will be happening, its not we want to try something, its we are going to do or have done, with out discussion!
  • Such ignorance (03/07/2013, 10:32) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    There is a part of the article where someone says that they do not know of a public school in the Caribbean with a school board system. Sad to say that its a shame that someone would write that in a news article without getting the facts. Please people , you must be mindful of what you are putting out there for other people to read. Remember that although it is BVI news, other people read your papers too. And this seems like a very stupid statement to make without first getting the facts. As a member of a public school in the Caribbean with a school board system, I must inform you that school boards are put in place for more efficient running of the schools as board members are able to give quicker response to problems or needs as they arise.

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