Friday 24 May, 2019

Monrose blasts govt for lack of consultation on corporal punishment

President of the Saint Lucia Teachers’ Union Julian Monrose says the union has a right to protest the manner in which the Ministry of Education made its decision on corporal punishment in schools.

Monrose, who was speaking to the union’s membership yesterday at the National Cultural Centre, said that although the union would not discuss the pros and cons of the decision, that does not mean that the way in which the decision was arrived at was not disrespectful.

“We will not close school because the Ministry of Education decides to remove corporal punishment. We are right though to protest the manner in which it was done. The Ministry of Education was disrespectful and it is the modus operandi of the Ministry of Education. They feel they could do anything, anytime, anywhere, anyhow without consulting the practitioners, the real practitioners,” Monrose said, referring to teachers and principals as the real practitioners.

The Ministry of Education this year announced it will suspend corporal punishment in schools starting May 1st, 2019 and effectively abolish it sometime next year.

Monrose said the Ministry did not consult with the union before making a decision to suspend in the first instance and abolish next year corporal punishment in schools.

“We are just saying this is not how you do things, that we ought to have been consulted and that teachers ought to have been informed in a better way and that the Ministry needed to put things in place first,” Monrose said.

“In our schools today, teachers have to play all kinds of roles. More and more the homes are losing control of their children and we must take care of them.  There is one counsellor to eight, nine hundred children in a district. What serious impact can they have when you are overworking them? Where is the support? You do not just wake up and change the culture without giving the necessary support,” added Monrose.

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