And turning now from politics, we go to St. Matthews Village, where parents staged a protest this morning. They say their kids at the village’s
government school are being cheated out of a decent education because government hasn’t paid the teachers. Today Monica Bodden joined them on the front
Laura Santos - Parent
"My concern is my daughter is in infant I. According to the teacher, she hasn't gotten paid since September. My concern is that my daughter is not
learning anything. I took her home 3 days consequently, Thursday, Friday and Monday. On Tuesday I brought her and I left her in the other classroom.
They are 60 students in one class room, what will they learn? They're not learning anything. The teacher cannot give them individual attention. Yes she
can give them sitting work but she cannot give them individual attention. There is too much children in the class room, we need out teachers here at
Santos is a parent whose 5 year old child attends St Matthews’s primary school. Her daughter is an infant 1 student.
She, along with dozens of other parents stood on the school grounds this morning with signs- protesting the overcrowded classrooms and lack of teachers
–This is a problem they explained, started a week ago when 5 teachers did not receive a pay cheque at the end of the month. Some of those teachers have
since been absent from school.
Laura Santos - Parent
"I have no idea what’s happening but all I know is that the minister has to do something about it. Education is a priority, we need our children to
learn and we need the teachers here for that to happen so they government needs to pay the teachers. This is nothing about politics this about our
children not learning, the government has to do something about it."
Noelia Ibanas - Parent
"I don’t have a child without a teacher. I have a child where by there's 60 students in a class, what will my child learn? If they're 5 years old, 60 5
year olds in one class, how will they learn like that? For us as parents we need our children to learn so that they don't become the future murderers,
the future thieves, the future gangsters. We need them to have an education so they can be someone in the future. That is why we are asking the
government to please pay our teachers. We have exams around the corner, what will they give exams on? What will the children learn if they don't have a
Delci Barrera – Parent
"One month my son's teacher got sick and they sent a teacher but she didn't get paid, so she left by Tuesday. So the two standard 5 and standard 6 they
have no teacher. I'm here to say to the ministry of education if you could please pay some of the teachers. The standard 5 teachers didn't get paid and
the standard 6 didn't get paid. The exams are very close, so how will the children be ready to take the PSE. Especially the standard 5, they need their
Saturday classes. I will ask the ministry of education to please pay the teachers so they can give classes to our children because they really need an
Michelle Murray is the school’s principal– she too has not been paid for the month of October. And while this would be a concern – she is more focused on
the predicament her students are facing.
Michelle Murray – Principal, St Matthews Government School
"Well really and truly it's a situation that started developing since last week Friday when one of the Infant I teachers informed us that she's not
returning because she has been told that her status on the staff is questionable. She hadn't been paid since August, so she stop come into work and
that leaves the 30 children in infant I without a teacher. We have two of each classes, so i've been trying to do is ask the other teachers to hold
over. We have some teachers that haven't been paid for October and a few of them are not here today. When ever they don't come, we just try to work it
out the best way we can. I'm guessing you can imagine how frustrated everybody's become, parents and teachers and the disadvantage it is for the
students. If infant I has 30, when we combine them it becomes 60. That's the predicament we're in and that's why the parents are out here this morning
because they want to know when. The only answer I can give them is that our manager has informed me that the application has been submitted for our
additional staffing but we are hoping it comes sooner than later."
A release form the ministry this afternoon says that three teachers from the Government School were late in receiving salaries for October 2014.
The release says this is because the local manager did not submit the Performance Appraisals for these teachers on time. Because of that, they could
not meet the Teaching Service Commission's deadline for submission and subsequent approval. Apparently, this has been fast tracked and all three
teachers have been paid.
The release adds that The Principal of the St. Matthew's Government School, who is a New Principal, was delayed in the timely submission of the
'Employment Form' which was necessary to be forwarded to the Ministry of Finance for the processing of salary. The release notes that this as been
completed and as of today, the Principal was paid.