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Union hits back after MP warns of unqualified PE teachers

Bermuda Union of Teachers general secretary Mike Charles has scotched claims children are in danger because of underqualified Physical Education teachers.

Mr Charles said Opposition MP Louise Jackson had tarred the name of all PE teachers by suggesting some don’t have the background to teach that subject in a safe manner.

He said he understood all have their relevant degrees and echoed Minister Dame Jennifer Smith’s call for Mrs Jackson to come forward with details of those who don’t.

Mrs Jackson responded by saying she wasn’t referring to specific individuals, but to a policy of making some teachers exempt from getting the standard qualifications.

The veteran One Bermuda Alliance politician had told the House of Assembly during Wednesday’s Budget debate on Education that, with an unqualified person in charge, some sports and activities can lead to death, fracture, loss of eyes, concussion and loss of teeth.

Mr Charles told

The Royal Gazette: “The qualification for a teacher is a Bachelor’s degree. I don’t know what for her is an underqualified teacher. Has she seen people teach?

“You are making a statement against a profession here, with no backing. I used to be a Physical Education teacher myself, so I know what it takes to get the degree. You are impugning the integrity of them all.

“If she knows of some who shouldn’t be teaching, she shouldn’t just say it in the House of Assembly, she should point it out to the authorities.

“People who make statements should be careful about what they are doing.”

Mrs Jackson replied: “All I’m saying is that in the field of Physical Education one should be fully qualified with a degree in Physical Education because it involves impact sports, gymnastics and swimming.

“I’m concerned about the fact that in Bermuda there are exempt teachers. This isn’t so much a problem for English or French, but it is for Physical Education.”

BUT chief Mike Charles is a former PE teacher.

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Published March 12, 2012 at 9:56 am (Updated March 12, 2012 at 9:55 am)

Union hits back after MP warns of unqualified PE teachers

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