The College of Science, Technology, and Applied Arts of T&T (COSTAATT), is “tightening its belt,” and is now operating “pretty much to the bone,” in the face of a declining enrolment.
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Bad example for students
The decision by the High Court, to compel the Minister of Education to reinstate Mr Sookoo Sonnylal, as principal of the Siparia West Secondary School, speaks volumes about the incompetence of the people in charge of our education system.
It is incomprehensible to me, as to how and why Mr Sonnylal was suspended.
I want to know how much money the state had to pay in legal fees because of the absolutely “dotish” decision made by the Minister of Education. Maybe, he should reimburse the state from his own pocket.
There were several videos coming out of the school. One showed a student with a pipe in his hand chasing another student.
A subsequent video showed the principal, Mr Sonnylal, holding that same pipe after confiscating it from the student.
This second video was so much more disturbing because it also showed several students surrounding the principal as if they were going to beat him up.
There was clearly no respect for the authority of the principal by these students. It is to his credit that he stood his ground with them. There was also a verbal exchange between the students and principal.
It was because of this confrontation, that the Minister of Education made the decision to suspend, not the students, but the principal. Subsequently, we had “big people” in society praising the decision of the minister. Really? Are we serious about the future of our children?
Back in the day it was unheard of for a principal to be suspended because of the indiscipline of students.
No one dared put God out of their thoughts to disrespect a teacher far less for a principal.
Many teachers tell me that once the bell rings for lunch, they vacate the premises. Their reason is simple. If students were to get involved in an altercation during lunchtime and a teacher intervenes, there is the distinct possibility that the teacher could lose his or her job.
This could have been the case with the school monitor who, in 2016, separated two boys from fighting, by giving them a “clout” each. The video only came out recently.
The president of the National Parent Teachers Association, Mrs Zena Ramatali, was all in the media decrying the method used by the teacher.
I wonder if that teacher still has a job today? Or whether he will have to end up in court like Mr Sonnylal. Of course, no plausible alternative was proffered by Mrs Ramatali.
It is time to take back our schools from the children. Maybe, someone should ask Sat Maharaj what is his model for managing his schools.
LINUS F DIDIER
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