By Neto Baptiste
Director of Education, Clare Browne, has vehemently denied that he and others in the Ministry of Education are against sports and the development of sportsmen and women currently employed within the system.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Browne called on those accusing him and the education ministry of “killing sports” to produce the evidence.
“Show me the evidence because I started out by saying that the Ministry of Education has an education officer in physical education and sports so the Ministry of Education has always been involved in various sporting activities,” he said.
“When I was a school principal — and you can ask Cajawawa Warner who was my football coach or Bowlie Knight who was my basketball coach about the support — I was the same man they say don’t like sports that marched the entire Grammar School down to the Antigua Recreation Grounds for a cricket finals against St Joseph’s Academy. The Ministry of Education has always supported sports,” he added.
The debate was sparked following news that two cricketers employed as coaches by the Ministry of Education, Nino Henry and Tyrone Williams Jr, had their requests for special leave denied by the Public Service Commission (PSC). The players were due to take on contractual duties with the Leeward Islands Cricket Board (LICB).
Browne labelled the accusation unfair and unfounded, given the ministry’s dedication to sports and physical education.
“Now, people can say all they want to say about me in this country because I believe that my record of contribution to the classroom as a classroom teacher and as a principal and as an education officer speaks for itself, but once you are going to tell me that the Ministry of Education is seeking to kill sports then you are dragging other people into to it,” he said.
“A ministry who has an education officer responsible for physical education in Sean Samuel and all the other officers and that kind of spurious claim cannot stand,” he added.
News broke on Tuesday that Henry of New Winthorpes Lions and Williams Jr who plays for Empire Nation, both received letters dated October 16, which denied their requests for leave, citing a shortage of teachers during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.