Who is Betty Brown Pott? It is the question that dominated social media on the local scene since late last night. Aside from being the mother of the Education Minister Patrick Faber, Betty Brown Pott is a former preschool educator. The discussions now surround the fact that a preschool in Camalote Village, Cayo District is being named in Pott’s honor. It is a decision that does not sit well with some residents in that western village. Our Correspondent Fem Cruz met up with the village Chairman Derrick Parham who made an appeal to Faber to reconsider the name for the school.
Derick Parham, Chairman, Camalote Village: “I’m trying to use this medium to address the situation of the new government preschool that is under construction here in Camalote Village and the intent of the Ministry of Education to have this building named Betty Brown Pott. For some days now we’re trying to find out who Betty Brown Pott is and I was tagged in a Facebook post a couple of hours ago where Senator Elena Smith posted a comment and was answered by the Honorable Minister of Education and that enlightened us to who Betty Brown Pott is and as we were stating on our position that Camalote has a lot of people who have contributed so much to education and so much to their activities in the community our intent was to have one of those person’s name be put on this new preschool as we stated our position and we’re just asking the Minister to please don’t go against the will of the people of Camalote village because that is what caused failure to a person or any government, going against the will of the people and we accept the new building, we appreciate that a new building is being built in our community that will add a little beautification to it but the problem is an easy problem now to address due to we know who the person is and the person is connected closely to you so it will be even easier to address this situation.”
The decision to name the school without consultation within the village is viewed as slanted and somewhat unfair per the remarks coming out of the public domain. Faber, however, explained the process of naming the schools around the country saying that there is an actual list of educators that will be honored in this very same manner.
Hon. Patrick Faber, Party Leader Elect, United Democratic Party: “The decision was made not by me but by my ministry, my team to name these preschools after noted educators who have contributed to particularly early childhood education so it’s not only Betty Brown that we’re naming a school after. Now I think the chairman and the Camalote Committee Council as you call them have a very valid point and I am honestly very prepared to listen to that and discuss with them. This is in fact the first time I’m hearing today or yesterday was the first time I heard that there was some kind of outcry from the community about it. In fact I didn’t even know which school they had assigned the name to, I was made aware yes my mother is one of the persons among others who they’re considering and I make no apologies, Elizabeth Betty Leonne Brown Pott as I put in my post this morning is my mother and it should not matter that I am her son. She has had a long distinguished career in education, in early childhood education more importantly, she was one of the first certified early childhood instructors in this country so I don’t understand why that would be a problem and because I am her son she would be deprived of such a worthy honor. But I am not opposed to having a discussion with the community. This is not something that we are trying to ram down anybody’s throat, not at all and the matter of naming the preschools only comes because we wanted to ensure that they bear a name and that they bear a name that comes form an educator that has made their contribution. So it’s not territory specific that we’re assigning names these are just people who are from the list of noted educators particularly early childhood educators in the country. Alma Eiley I think is another one so Ms.Eiley’s name might go on a school somewhere else even though she might no be from that community. That is not something I’m terribly occupied with I’m fighting that battle. There are some communities who may not have such an issue and maybe pleased to accept one of the noted educators nationally to be placed on their school, there are some who might not have that issue so if Camalote has that issue we’re perfectly prepared to have that discussion. In fact if that is the position I am saying that is noteworthy, that is worthy let’s talk about it I am not opposed to – there has never been a case of that coming to me and I say “No absolutely it has to be called so and so.” none at all.”
Love News understands that Betty Brown Pott was an educator on the preschool level for several years. Her career as an educator spans over forty years and was the founder of Saint Hilda’s Kindergarten long before early childhood education was developed. Pott reportedly went on to open her own preschool in 1982. She has also taught at the Sister Clara Mohammed School and at All Saints Anglican School as well as the Port Loyola Preschool.