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Feb 13, 2023

A Restructuring of Process for Allegations of Inappropriate Behaviour of Teachers

Two weeks ago, a concerned father sent an email to the media with a list of documents and timelines of a disturbing report of predatory behaviour by a teacher at Canaan Seven Day Adventist High School; and what he saw as the inefficiencies in the school’s management to adequately remedy the situation. The story has struck a chord with parents across the country. The B.N.T.U. and education minister have spoken against the situation. But while any teacher deemed a threat to any student should be removed from the classroom – there has to be due process. And any allegation has to be supported by evidence. The lack of timely response has led the father to withdraw his child from the school. On Thursday, Ministry of Education officials met with the student’s father over the allegations. The meeting was with C.E.O. Dian Maheia and Chief Education Officer Yolanda Gongora; Minister Fonseca shared details of what they wanted to achieve.


Francis Fonseca

Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education

“The ministry reported to him what has been done so far and we express support for a full and thorough – already there has been a preliminary investigation – but we appreciate that more has to be done. And what’s most important and I think this was very important to the parent is that we have to put in place a very clear structure that will ensure that this kind of delay in reporting the matter to the relevant authorities does not happen again. I think that is the primary concern of the parent. He understands what has happened to his child, the allegation, and he wants to ensure that that does not happen to any other child at any other school. So we had a very good discussion with the parent and some of it, as you said is very personal stuff, so I don’t want to discuss that. But, of course, we talked also about the future of his child in terms of her education. The whole idea is the process of reporting so that when an allegation is made, we all have to be accountable. So when an allegation is made, teachers, principals, managers, the Ministry of Education, all of us have to know exactly what procedures to follow when that type of allegation is made and there should be no delay in that process.”

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