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Education (Amdt.) (No. 2) Bill

Tuesday, May 02, 2000

Let us look at the composition of the boards. As I said before, this is not my priority but it is in the Act, so I am going to look at it. We are looking at the composition of the boards and we see that there are nine members to a school board. I want to look at some places, for example, from La Brea to Icacos, I will miss out some; there is Guapo, Vance River, Parry Lands, Eygpt Government School, Fanny Village Government School, Cap-de-Ville—I could call a number of schools; Cedros Government School, right from La Brea to Icacos; all those are government schools, going right down to the end. [Interruption] I am just looking at the close relation of those schools. Nine members to each of those schools.

I am just telling you how close some of them are and each school there is supposed to have a single board of nine people. When people asked what are the criteria for selection or what skills are required, I heard the Minister say that she did not want to put skills on, because you might not find people with the skills. That worried me a bit, because I am wondering, do we not want certain competencies there, or do we just want nine people?

So if she is saying that she did not want to put skills because, probably, in that area or community you might not find too many people with the skills, but if you look at what the members of the board have to do, you would still want that. Where are you going to get them then, if you go with it the way it is? It really bothered me. I am really serious, I was thinking about it; Salybia, Las Cuevas; go to those communities and ask yourself the question. Is it nine people you want or nine people with certain skills that can help, at least?

If you look at this same Bill and you look at some of the restrictions in it and the formalities that are there, I am saying that I am not sure whether or not we could sustain this thing, and that is my problem. We have to put something that is attainable and I have a difficulty whether what we are asking for in this Bill is attainable. Anybody reading this Bill can see that this is not attainable. Even from the composition of the board where you have a principal, a member of the union and the parent teacher association. We have to beef up some of the parent teacher associations in these schools; some of them could scarcely muster a PTA. We need a lot of work being done and you want males and females from the PTAs.

I would not say anything. I hope it is competence that you are looking at and not gender; but I would go around with that. The board is also supposed to have a member of the past pupils’ associations—some of them do not even have past pupils’ associations, therefore, you might hardly be able to get the nine people,

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