Sun | Mar 18, 2018

Manchester schools struggle with ongoing action by teachers

Published:Tuesday | March 13, 2018 | 12:00 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer

Thousands of students across the parish were left confused and flustered this morning as they showed up for school only to be told that classes were postponed for the day.

With some parents having prior knowledge of a possible strike, quite a few were not expecting to be told to return to pick up their children before the regular time of dismissal.

"I had to return for my two sons this morning, as I was told that although some teachers are present, they will not be working... When I was leaving I saw quite a number of students waiting to be picked up by their parents," said a parent from the Mandeville Primary School.

Principal of the institution, Howard Salmon, told The Gleaner that there were 1700 students enrolled, with approximately 50 teachers. However, only 14 teachers were present yesterday morning.

"We did not make a call to parents to come and pick up their children but some parents have decided to return for them and, in following our protocol, we let the students go ... The parents have been very cooperative," said Salmon.

"I had no idea they would be sending the students home," said another parent. "I was at work when my child came there and said she was told she could return home. I know the teachers are striking, but I thought the students were supposed to remain on campus until regular dismissal time, the parent said.

A member of staff at the Frankfield Primary School reported that, although they did not have their full staff complement, each class was monitored and a sense of normalcy maintained. It was not as normal at the May Day High School as all students, except the fifth formers who had mock exams, were dismissed at 12 noon.

Over at the DeCarteret College, classes began much later than the usual time as not every teacher reported for work.