BASSETERRE, ST KITTS – Former education minister in the previous St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party Administration, Sen. Hon. Nigel Carty Wednesday slammed his successor Hon. Shawn Richards in denying teachers the opportunity to march in celebration of World Teachers Day.
Mr Carty recalled that each year during the Labour Party Administration of then Prime Minister the Right Hon. Dr Denzil L. Douglas the St Kitts-Nevis Teachers Union was given the opportunity to march and hold workshops.
“It is known that when teachers ask for the usual day off it is the usual day off for teachers to participate in the march in celebration of World Teachers Day,” Carty said, pointing out that Minister Richards is displaying “his gross incompetence or is taking the teachers for a ride and deliberately deceiving the public.”
Carty said Minister Richards should have been in St Kitts and Nevis to show solidarity with all teachers and should never have been refused permission to march.
Carty further pointed out that Richards when asked in a telephone interview on another radio station if there was a chance that the teachers could be granted permission to have their march, Richards’ response was ‘no, because the ministry does not believe in just giving teachers time off. It has to be something constructive.’ In his view the march is not constructive.”
Carty noted that since 1994, federal ministers of education have been present in St Kitts for World Teachers Day.
“I was always in solidarity with the teachers. I attended their workshops and a very important part of the ministry’s effort to promote World Teachers Day and to show how much teachers are valued, the sitting Minister of Education, took the time to make a national address on the occasion,” said Sen. Carty, who accused Minister Richards “of destroying people’s lives for his own political career and stifling democracy.”
Carty noted too that following the traditional teachers’ march, a rally was held at Independence Square.