The Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation (METI) has refuted claims made by the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) that it has failed to meet and or communicate on issues affecting teachers.
In a statement issued today, the Ministry recounted that on January 5 of this year, the BUT submitted an agenda of 17 items of concern for discussion.
???Subsequently, on February 2, 2016, the Ministry proposed nine additional items for discussion. On February 3, 2016, the BUT confirmed its attendance at the meeting scheduled for February 5, 2016.
???On February 5, 2016, at a meeting chaired by the Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ronald Jones, at the Ministry???s Headquarters, the METI met with the BUT and not only discussed issues but also reached consensus,??? the statement continued.
According to the Ministry, the issues discussed included short-term study leave, term leave, a Mobile Technology Policy, the appointment of teachers and health and safety in schools.
The Ministry of Education also disclosed that additional meetings were held between the BUT on April 4 to discuss the environmental issues at Lawrence T. Gay, Springer Memorial and the Lodge School; on April 11 to discuss the way forward for Lawrence T. Gay Primary; and on April 27 to discuss the issue of violence in schools, in particular student-on-teacher violence and teacher-on-student violence.
Those meetings, the Ministry stated, were chaired by the Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry, Senator Harcourt Husbands; the Permanent Secretary and the Chief Education Officer respectively.
???It is against this background that the METI is refuting charges that it has not had dialogue with the BUT on issues submitted to the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation,??? the Ministry stated.
The full statement from the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation may be downloaded by clicking here.