Our Readers' Opinions
July 8, 2011
In solidarity with GHS / Headmistress!


Editor: Editor, it is refreshing, really encouraging and inspiring, to see the Girls’ High School Headmistress, Mrs Andrea Bowman, standing up for principle, fairness, and what’s right. Irrespective of the consequence(s), this true lady of education, principle, fairness, and consistency must be applauded, and supported,{{more}} especially when we have all come to expect that truth, principle, professional judgement, and fairness are being prostituted, in exchange for ‘worshipping’ and the acknowledgement and satisfaction of our new god.

Editor, we all know that the GHS’ position to disqualify the daughter of Prime Minister Dr the Honourable Ralph Gonsalves after her phone rang in an examination room is consistent with CXC/CSEC rules. But to have the strength of character to do it, knowing fully-well what her fate will be speaks volumes of the principle and professional integrity of Headmistress Bowman. SVG needs more people like her.

Importantly, also the unprincipled ‘stance’ taken by the Ministry of Education/The Chief Education Officer, and the engine master behind the ugly, embarrassing, and highly unprincipled step taken by the CEO, in asking the Headmistress to reverse the decision. What makes it so sad is that both the CEO and the GHS Headmistress are SVG’s two top representatives at CXC. Both know the rules, the consequences for breaking them, and the reasons why they are strictly adhered to. However, when they are tested, one stands by it, and the other almost threatens to punish the one who stands and is doing the right thing. It’s sad, shameful and points to the sorry state this once beautiful island has sunk to.

How could the Chief Education Officer and the Prime Minister seek to undermine an entire institution for a single child? How could they seek to undermine the entire Education System relative to discipline for one child? Mrs Bowman will certainly be punished – sent on leave, to be replaced later, transferred, or simply parked aside like so many others to show who is in charge! Poor Miss Gilchrist again must act contrary to her training, conscience, expertise and knowledge just to hold on to her post. Great thing, though, Mrs Bowman refuses to prostitute her professionalism, professional pride, knowledge, and truth to remain where she deserves to be. Hats off to you! God and History will recall your stance! Let’s not forget that the three ‘little’ Hebrew Boys could have done the same like the crowd. They, too, could have chosen to worship idol(s) as most of this nation now do. However, they stood. And that brought such a great change to the ungodly ruler and nation. The staff may change their minds in supporting the Headmistress in her fair and principled stance. However, her upbringing, her conscience, her professional integrity will not allow her to bow and reverse a principled and correct decision.

Editor, what a sad place! What a

sad state! One man, one family, (even when doing blatant wrong) is more important than the discipline and forward march of an entire nation. The CXC’s position is basic; a phone can store information for exams – it can do calculations etc, and it could be used to surf the Internet re exams information, among others.

All point to cheating. No one should have ever heard that story outside of the school.

Moreover, young Gonsalves, and all students in that room, would have gotten good lifelong experience from her disqualification – especially being at Form Four, on the door steps of CSEC/CXC. None of them would have ever done it again! But what does the MOE, clearly instructed by the most feared leader, do? Send wrong signals, punish the Headmistress, who is right, and thereby undermine discipline, the institution, and the prospect of future examination students. They might just believe that the MOE/CEO, or by extension, the Prime Minister, can over-rule CXC after they have broken the rule and disciplined in like manner.

Finally, we are waking up to understand that once you are the PM, or his real interest, you can do as you please. Break all rules! I saw it when I was at South Rivers. The PM would just walk all through the school without observing protocol. Come to see it, the principled PM signed an Agreement with the Teachers, then refuses to abide by it. Believe it, not even a ‘man’ , the union President is afraid tells him, listen Sir, implement what you sign. All these and more make Mrs Bowman’s decision to be fair, consistent, and principled, something that we should be proud of. We know how vindictive this ruler is, and I am certain you would not escape his wrath for doing what’s right. However, your conscience would be clear.

Otto Sam