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Sep 16, 2015

Parents Protest at Faith Nazarene Primary

Another round of protests was held this morning at Faith Nazarene in San Ignacio where classrooms have been emptier than usual since the beginning of the school year.  Parents are not backing off on their demand for the removal of the principal, Policarpia Pech. This Friday, it will be three weeks since the dispute erupted. And while some parents are enrolling students elsewhere, it is so far a no win situation for all parties involved. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A trickle of parents, majority who are mothers, gradually began congregating near the gates of Faith Nazarene Primary School, shortly after the buzzer rang at 8:30 this morning.  Attendance today would peak at around a hundred and twenty-five students, roughly thirty percent of the overall population.  A few children who weren’t present for classes joined their parents outside of the compound where they held up placards demanding the removal of the principal.


Lily Rodas

Lily Rodas, Parent

“I don’t have anything against Ms. Pech or the teachers, the only thing is that if they don’t work together they can’t perform good.  And my kids, I want my kids to have a good education that’s why I am here standing up, you know, because they have to change, a change has to happen and if it doesn’t happen then what will happen with our kids?”


It’s a pertinent concern, one where other parents aren’t sticking around for an outcome.  Across town, Arms of Love Primary School, much smaller by enrollment, is seeing a sudden increase in the number of transfer applications, at least one directly attributed to the unrest at Faith Nazarene.  For Raul Cabral whose daughter is in Infant Two, the protest will continue indefinitely until their concerns are addressed.


Raul Cabral

Raul Cabral, Parent

“We’re gonna continue here, you see something is going to happen, you see.  I don’t know what kind of Minister of Education we have, he’s supposed to come and talk to us.  That is just [for him] to consider us as parents, we have concerns.  If they do not come to talk to us what can we do?  We’re going to continue protesting, you see.  And then we are supporting the teachers.”


That unwavering support, coupled with the existing tension between the principal and her teachers, has resulted in an abstention from classes for the past two weeks.


Voice of: Parent

“The parents came out to support the teachers, so now there are parents and teachers against the principal, yet the principal doesn’t want to leave.  According to her, she won’t come out from that office no matter what.”


Isani Cayetano

“I understand that teachers have applied for permission to be able to stage their own industrial action against the principal and against what is taking place here.  You have your child out of school, what have you been doing in terms of either providing some form of remedial lessons for your child while he or she is out?”


Voice of: Parent

“Yes, on Monday when classes [resumed] the first of September, I came to the teacher and she said that the students, my sister is in Standard One but she told us that the students need to learn their times table from two, three, four, ‘til five.  So that’s what I’m doing with her, teaching her at home.  That’s the same thing that they were going to do with her at school so I’m doing it at home.”


That, nonetheless, is hardly enough for an institution which operates on a prescribed curriculum and weekly schemes.


Lily Rodas

“They can’t be out of school because of the parents and the teachers and the principal.  They are the ones who are getting more affected, you know, because they are at home they don’t have any, we as parents we are giving them work but we don’t know what is the real work that they are giving here.  So I am giving them times table, I am giving them to read but what else, you know.  They have missed three weeks already with this week and the Ministry of Education is not doing anything and the teachers they say that they are teaching but it’s not the way to go because other parents are affected, their kids are really affected [by the issue] with the principal.”


David Simpson, who was first in the picketing line on Monday, is a repeat protester.  The demand is for an urgent sit down with all stakeholders.


David Simpson

David Simpson, Parent

“We as parents are requesting an urgent meeting with the principal, teachers, the faculty of [Faith] Nazarene School which is the manager Mr. Raymond Shepherd and the minister to meet along with us the parents who are here demanding or requesting for an urgent, urgent meeting.  Our kids have been out of school for the past two weeks, almost going for three because there has been no proper agreement that the parents are satisfied with what’s occurring in the institution.  The institution is falling apart and the proper entities need to be aware of what’s happening, to hear the voice of the parents because it’s our kids that are attending this school and it’s our kids’ presence that makes them have a job.”


News Five understands that a meeting was held this afternoon in San Ignacio between the area representative, the parents and the general manager.  That discussion precedes a meeting to be held on Friday by the Teachers Services Commission on the fate of Policarpia Pech as principal of the embattled primary school. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Parents Protest at Faith Nazarene Primary”

  1. MNHG says:

    Before ramond shepard was manager, all was running smooth, since he took over all has crumbled.
    Message to the protesting parents:
    you have no idea what has and is taking place at school, better you have never come out there, you will FEEL ashamed after this is finished.
    See that you are left alone, no support from from nowhere, wise people are watching you.

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