Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly is condemning the verbal abuse of a teacher during an online class last week.
“Different time, same challenges. A classroom is a classroom- whether online or face to face, and misbehaviour always finds an outlet, unfortunately,” Gadsby-Dolly wrote in a Facebook post Saturday afternoon.
The incident involved male students using expletives and vulgar language as the female teacher played a video on how to behave online.
One male student is heard saying, “Well go through nah”, before the teacher requests that he speaks properly.
A little later, another male voice is heard calling out another student, during which he uses obscene language.
When the teacher intervenes, the two students then begin to engage in vulgar language towards the teacher.
The teacher warned the students that their “derogatory” language would be sent to the dean but the vulgar and obscene language continued.
Gadsby-Dolly said in her Facebook post, “I note with utmost displeasure the incidences, thankfully sporadic, of disrespect to our teachers by students, and sadly, at least one parent during this last week in the online environment. Nothing makes this OK. We are all experiencing differing levels of stress as we navigate this new experience – students, teachers, parents, principals, MOE staff, stakeholders- none is exempt; but our teachers are out on the frontline, many of them spending hours preparing work, organizing themselves to deliver to the best of their ability, and they deserve our full respect and support.”
She said that a teacher being exposed to the level of disrespect she heard in recorded classes “can be humiliating, distressing and devastating.”
She added, “Let’s all do our part to encourage respect for each other in the online environment, and let’s remember that we are adjusting to this together- we must be tolerant of each other’s process. Each of us may not play our role perfectly from the start, but with time and effort, we will become more skilled in our navigation of this “cyberterm”. So let our watchwords, “Discipline, Tolerance, and Production” be our guide, as together, we continue to surmount the many challenges of these uncertain times.”
The matter is currently under investigation by the Ministry of Education.