Ministry of Education meets with the father of Canaan Student
The Ministry of Education has met with the father of the student from Canaan SDA High School, who is accusing a male teacher of sexual misconduct. After calling on the relevant authorities to look into the matter, today, the child’s father met with Education CEO, Diane Maheia, and Chief Education Officer Yolanda Gongora. The parent has been seeking an audience with the ministry for over two weeks after he felt the school’s administration was dragging its feet. Minister of Education, Francis Fonseca, says that the ministry agrees with the parent and is looking into the administration’s apparent lack of urgency to report the matter.
Hon. Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education: “He’s meeting with the Chief Education Officer and the Chief Executive Officer. Obviously it’s a very troubling matter. We’ve gotten a report on the matter. We’ve engaged from the very beginning with the management and the principal of the school. You know our concern is that the time that they took to bring this to the attention of the Ministry of Education, the authorities, so that we could take action. You know these are very very serious allegations, very serious matters and we all have to take them very seriously and certainly as the Minister of Education I do, the Ministry of Education we do but we have to ensure that at every other level of the education system the managements, the principals that they all take these reports very very seriously and act on them with a sense of urgency when it is brought to their attention. So you know we’re going to have that meeting today but we’re very confident based on our discussions with the management that we’ll be able put in place some stricter policies and procedures that will ensure that this type of delay in reporting the matter to the proper authorities does not happen again. I’m the Minister of Education I don’t want to prejudge the matter, I don’t want to make any statements that will affect the process. You know the BNTU has already come out and said that they will be representing the teacher, defending the teacher so you know I have to be responsible because I have to work with everyone but certainly there must be zero tolerance for that kind of behavior in our education system in our schools. We must do everything to protect our children that is our sacred responsibility and as I said that can’t be just at the top and the Ministry of Education saying that it has to be practiced at every level of the education system managers, principals, teachers, they have to be held accountable.”