MINISTER of Education Anthony Garcia yesterday expressed disappointment with the comments made by Cricket West Indies president Dave Cameron, who said female Physical Education (PE) teachers are not equipped with the skills to teach the game of cricket to Jamaican students.

Garcia dismissed Cameron’s assertion as nonsense and said it is the Jamaican and not female PE teachers who is responsible for the demise of West Indies cricket.

Cameron’s statements in the Sunday Gleaner has created a fire-storm of controversy with the CWI president being slammed by many on social media.

Cameron told The Sunday Gleaner. “Firstly, we only have female PE teachers, which is a problem. Most of them don’t know cricket.

The game of cricket is very complicated. They don’t know the history and neither are they interested. That becomes an issue. When we went to school, most of our PE teachers, if not all, were male.

So they coach cricket, football, track and field, and we’re not getting that any more.”

Garcia, speaking to the Newsday yesterday, said Cameron, who is serving his third consecutive term at the helm of regional cricket, has been damaging the strong reputation West Indies once had.

“I do not hold much talk to what Dave Cameron says. In fact, Dave Cameron contribution to West Indies cricket has resulted in the demise of cricket in the West Indies, and as a result I will not pay attention to what he says,” Garcia said.

Garcia said female PE teachers in TT are equally capable as their male counterparts to do their job.

“Our female teachers are as qualified as our males.

In fact, at UWI we have programmes in physical education and coaching — those programmes are up to the masters level, and both male and female teachers have been accessing that programme for a number of years,” Garcia said.

Cameron said the PE teachers in Jamaica are mostly women, however, a Jamaican educator speaking on the Sportsmax Zone yesterday, said she was uncertain where Cameron got his data from but she is unaware of the actual number of women PE teachers employed compared to men. She noted, however, that at her school there are six PE teachers with four men and two women.

A Ministry of Education official informed Newsday that in TT the number of men and women’s PE teachers are almost equal.

The official, who wished to remain anonymous, said all PE teachers are qualified to conduct their job.

The official said it is mandatory that PE teachers earn a Teacher’s Diploma, before specialising in PE.

The Ministry official also said that a number of PE teachers earn a UWI certificate in PE, while others get degrees in PE.

Newsday contacted president of the TT Women’s Cricket Association Joycelyn Francois Opadeyi for a comment on the issue. Opadeyi said she would respond but up to press time did not give a statement.