Education officer apologizes for ‘dunce pickney’ comment

Education Officer Christopher Reynolds has apologized for claiming that too many ‘dunce pickney’ are in the island’s schools, adding that the controversial phraseology does not reflect his modus operandi either during his stint in the classroom or in his current post.

The comment, which The Beacon published last week, has sparked outrage among parents, educators and the Ministry of Education.

The ministry, sources said, met with Reynolds on Monday regarding the comment, which he made last month during his keynote address at the Ewarton Primary School graduation ceremony held in Linstead, St Catherine.

Before meeting education ministry officials, Reynolds, in an interview, told The Beacon: “Having assessed the situation, the use of the phrase ‘dunce pickney’ – I apologize for it and I withdraw that statement as a part of the reference made in my speech.

“I have taught at different high schools; I have taught at traditional high schools; I have taught at emerging high schools, and so I would have taught students at various levels. I have never seen any brighter than any or any ‘dunce’,” added the education officer who supervises several schools in the ministry’s Region Six.

At the time Reynolds made the comment, he was imploring parents to play a more active role in improving their children’s academic performance.

ALSO READ: Too many ‘dunce pickney’ in schools, education officer laments

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