The Teaching Service Com-mission (TSC) has warned the head teacher of Christianburg Wismar Secondary School to stick to the guidelines set out in the ‘No Child Left Behind’ policy, while he maintains that he will do whatever it takes to ensure that students attending his school reach the higher levels of the education system.
Christianburg Wismar Secondary School Head Teacher, Cleveland Thomas was summoned to a meeting with the disciplinary committee of the TSC on Monday to defend his position of not complying with the policy.
Subsequently some four busloads of parents travelled to Georgetown and staged a peaceful picket at the TSC in solidarity with Thomas. Hundreds of others and students also protested peacefully in Linden on Monday.
On Wednesday Thomas received a letter from the TSC which advised that he adhere to the set policy and guidelines. “Considering the peculiar situation of the Christianburg Wismar Secondary School and the area it served you are advised to make full use of the guidelines which are attached to the circular and pay particular attention to the remedial work necessary and maintain proper records of same that can be presented whenever necessary,” the letter stated.
Indicating that he was not willing to release his next action plan, Thomas insisted that there must be some amendment to the policy.
“I prefer that they have a seven-year cycle which would accommodate some students who are likely to fail at some point, they need to look at policy and tweak it a bit, modify it.”
He asserted that he and the staff along with the parents of students are looking to churn out students who are nation builders and not nation degraders.
The Regional Parent-Teachers Association has been hoping for a favourable outcome. RPTA acting president Dennis Gill said that several heads of individual school PTAs met on Monday evening and a number of decisions were made.
Gill said that Regional Chairman Mortimer Mingo, Regional Executive Officer Henry Rodney and Regional Education Officer Claude Johnson all made it clear that because of the offices they hold they must comply with the policy.
“They said in no uncertain terms that there is nothing that they can do and that it is up to the PTA bodies to take a stand,” Gill stated.
Present at the meeting which was called at short notice were the presidents of the Wisburg, Wismar- Christianburg and New Silver City and Linden Foundation Secondary Schools, School of Excellence, Burnham Drive and Republic Avenue Nursery Schools.
In addition a church service was held yesterday evening.
Meanwhile, the RPTA has decided that emergency meetings were going to be called at all the schools in Linden to discuss the matter.
The RPTA declared also that should the TSC decide to reprimand Thomas in any way, the entire school population in Linden would be suspended in protest. They would also be seeking to have an audience with Minister of Education Shaik Baskh at the earliest possible time.
“We would be seeking to have that policy completely removed from all schools, not only in Linden but across Guyana,” Gill stated.
Meanwhile, it was school as usual with a ‘full house attendance’, according to Thomas, the day following and this is likely to continue for the rest of the school week for students and teachers alike at the CWSS. Regional Education Officer Claude Johnson has since visited the school and assured Thomas that everything was going to be fine.