The Saint Lucia Teachers Union (SLTU) wants action by the Minister of Education and his Ministry on school security and has warned against trivializing the issue, especially given recent incidents at local schools.
SLTU President Don Howell disclosed that the union would be documenting its concerns to Education Minister Shawn Edward.
“The SLTU will not be taking lightly the Ministry trivialising the issue of school security. The safety of teachers and students at school is paramount to the union and we need the Ministry to act,” Howell told St Lucia Times.
He recalled that the union had been lamenting over the school security issue and was disappointed at the official response.
“At this time the Minister of Education who is the head of policy within the Ministry has not found it fit to make a policy statement relating to school security and the plans of the ministry,” Howell expressed.
The SLTU President referred to fights among students and assaults on teachers.
And he told St Lucia Times that the union made representation to the Ministry of Education on the security issue and Sir Arthur Lewis Community College (SALCC).
According to Howell, the union met two weeks ago with the Minister and presented its concerns.
But he explained that the Minister did not have much time, so they agreed to meet on Friday, May 27, to discuss school security policy, other matters at SALCC and union concerns.
“We are asking for an audit of schools to find out the specific security needs and for the SLTU this requires that the Minister should pay specific attention to those issues. So we are disheartened that our meeting today had to be postponed and furthermore the manner in which the SLTU was informed of the Minister’s absence today suggests to us that maybe the Minister is trivialising the issue of school security and other issues that plague the education sector,” Howell declared.
Headline photo: (L to R) Don Howell and Shawn Edward