The Ministry of Education yesterday shot down claims by the Bahamas Union of Teachers that a group of Cuban teachers hired by the government cannot speak English.
In a statement, the ministry said the teachers were recruited as a result of a scrutiny process that involved seasoned public servants from several ministries and agencies.
“It was unfortunate that the BUT was unable to send a representative for the interview panel,” the ministry said.
“The teachers recruited are the result of a memorandum of understanding signed by the ministry and the Republic of Cuba which has over the last 20 years, allowed the ministry to meet deficits in specialized areas.
“The panel was satisfied that the teachers are highly qualified and have competency in English.”
“We are pleased that this year, the ministry has been able to deploy technical and vocational teachers, allowing equitable access to these studies nationwide.
“The ministry has been able to bolster the complement of special education teachers who have also been deployed nationwide to ensure no child is left out.
“We are confident based on previous years and in light of the enhanced student access, and with the collaboration of all stakeholders including the BUT that these teachers will play an invaluable role alongside all of our other teachers in the educational well-being of our nation’s children.”
In an interview with the Tribune, BUT President Belinda Wilson said she received complaints that some of new Cuban teachers have issues speaking English.
“Some of the students have raised the issue and teachers have raised the issue,” she said.