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Linden Headteacher Facing Disciplinary Action For Choosing Principle Over Policy

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A headmaster’s decision to put principle in front of policy may have landed him in some hot water with the education ministry but he is not about to be intimidated. Principal of the Wismar Multilateral Secondary school at Linden Cleaveland Thomas was called before the disciplinary committee of the teaching service commission today to explain why he did not follow the education ministry’s directive to promote all of the students at his school even those who would have failed their end of year exams. The headmaster said reality is he cannot with a good heart promote children who did not make the 40% mark at their exams. He believes they ought to receive remedial help, which the school has in place, and not rewarded with an automatic promotion as the education ministry would like to see.

Thomas said believe it or not there are students at the form 1 level who cannot read or write and even have problems recognizing their own names, putting them through school without fixing those problems could be a recipe for greater problems in years to come.

With over 25 years service as a teacher, Cleaveland Thomas believes Guyana’s children deserve a whole lot better and he is committed to taking a stand and ensuring that they get that.

And he is not alone, several parents travelled to the city today and held a silent protest outside the teaching service commission as “Sir Thomo” as he is called, appeared before the commission. They said they are fully supportive of his stand.

The head of the teaching service commission Leila Ramson said Mr. Thomas is not the first headteacher to appear before the commission’s disciplinary committee to explain why the automatic promotion rule was not being followed, but it was the first time that she saw parents coming out in support.

For now, Cleaveland Thomas intends to do what he has been doing for over 25 years in Linden. Ensuring that young minds are really molded. The education ministry’s automatic promotion policy has been heavily criticized by parents and teachers alike across the country, Many believe it’s a policy that should be recalled.

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