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Sickout at SMC prompts call for urgent meeting among education officials

By SNO Staff

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Responding to a sickout by teachers on Tuesday, education officials were scheduled to meet today, Wednesday, Nov. 8 to resolve the issue surrounding the non-appointment of a principal and vice principal of St. Mary’s College (SMC), according to reliable sources.

Reports are that only 13 teachers turned up for work at SMC on Tuesday.

The teachers were reportedly protesting the non-appointment of a vice principal, more so after Don Howell, who was appointed acting vice principal in 2016, was returned to his substantive post.

Howell is also general secretary of the St. Lucia Teachers Union (SLTU).

The school has been without a principal after the recent retirement of Rohan Seon, who had been principal for many years.

Parents and teachers are blaming Seon, the school officials, and particularly the Teachers Commission for not putting any succession plan in place.

SLTU President Julian Monrose said despite the recommendation by the Ministry of Education, Howell was not confirmed to the vice principal post and he warned that if something is not done soon the union is prepared to take further action.

A teacher-in-charge has been managing the school affairs for the past several days.

According to sources, Teaching Services Commission officials are scheduled to meet Wednesday to decide on the appointment of a vice principal.

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17 comments

  1. Monrose will not be pleased unless and until his boy.....dh is there...he has no interest in in the best leader for an all boys school.....

    (0)(0)
  2. Monrose you of all persons know, that when the recommendation goes through, the TSC has to still sign off on it. There are many schools awaiting teacher to get the go ahead from TSC so they can start work. My wife a trained teacher, due back at school, with all recommendations sent in, is awaiting the TSC approval. Im disappointed that you are making it seem like you dont know the process. Furthermore, if the post wasnt advertised and persons interviewed, you well know that the ministry recommends someone to ACT like they had Howell do before. It is not even two weeks Seon retired and you complaining about a VP not yet appointed. The school needs a principal too, BUT YOU ONLY FOCUSED ON A VP NOT BEING APPOINTED.

    (1)(0)
  3. The board of management is to blame plain and simple. They want to run the school

    (0)(1)
  4. i knew with Mr.Seon retiring it would case an issue

    (1)(0)
  5. I smell a stinky rat-- Mr. Monroe your politics is glaring. Some persons are forgetting that the real victims are truly the students... not teachers, not Mr. Howell etc. Ministry officials do your part speedily to ensure that an apolitical, youth-friendly and objective principal and vp are hired. The boys are missing Mr. Seon terribly--truly he was an exceptional and well-appreciated principal.

    (3)(2)
  6. I smelled a rat--a stinky old dead rat. Your politics is glaring, Sir. It appears that some persons are oblivious to the fact that the real victims here are indeed the students... not teachers, Mr. Howell etc. Ministry officials, please do your part speedily to hire an apolitical and objective principal and vice-principal. The students are missing Mr. Seon terribly. Truly, he was an exceptional principal.

    (2)(0)
  7. I just find the timing of all of this a bit suspect. Seon's last day as principal was on 3 Nov.....soooo by tuesday the following things falling apart already. I smell a rat.........but that still does not mean that the school does not need a principal.

    (3)(0)
  8. As a student of the St.Mary's College I personally think that the ministry should contract Mr.Seon for one more year since he was such a great inspiration to us at the school so that they could find a suitable replacement for him.This entire situation is ultimately affecting us students since we are the ones losing valuable class time. According to the calypsonian Ready and I quote '' No principal,de school do have no principal ".

    (8)(1)
  9. Not having a succession plan has been a big problem in St. Lucia for some time now. Not only in Education but the other ministries as well.

    (2)(0)
  10. Monrose why you didn't take steps for the students being bulled at the primary school in town. To much politics.

    (5)(4)
  11. Feels like I'm in the twilight zone in my sweet st.lucia..

    (3)(0)
  12. lol when nobody actually considered the reality that seon had to retire eventually

    (9)(0)
  13. Seon is not to blame at all. He is retired and has no hand in making a succession plan for the school. The employer needs to do that. And the task is given to the TSC, and hence they are to be held accountable.
    But is Howell using the union for his personal gain, along with his faithful President. Oh well.
    With that said, If Howell was doing a good job, he needs to be confirmed in the post, especially is he is duly qualified, or advertise the post to have someone fill it at the soonest. Im a teacher and in shocked my union is active, whereas my school has issues we have written about for years now. Sigh

    (18)(6)
  14. Monrose I just hope you are not using the union, yourself and Howell being president and GS, to secure a job for the boy. It now put our union in a unfavourable position where it now seems there is a PERSONAL interest and conflict of interest in the case of Howell.

    With that said, the TSC needs to meet more often and be more proactive as there are way too many running acting position where persons are sent back to substantive posts?
    P.S. Wasnt Howell lastly at the union office as the GS? Why didnt he return there? Oh he set a good precedent giving up his secondment but holding on to the union GS post.

    Too much politics in my union.
    Sincerely
    A teacher in town

    (12)(5)
    • It certainly seems like that is what is going on there.

      (2)(1)
    • The students are the ones suffering!! Perhaps monrose need to change his career?!!! Putting politics before his duties as an educator. If Howell wasn't terminated, what is the issue? Employees get moved around all the time; including within the civil service. There are bullies everywhere!

      (1)(1)

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