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Education (Amdt.) (No. 2) Bill

Tuesday, May 02, 2000

Sen. J. Yuille-Williams: I am glad to hear you say Dr. Janet Stanley Marcano is the acting Chief Education Officer. I wonder if anybody else knew that? That is surprising to me but you said that she is acting. I am saying that you have just said Dr. Janet Stanley Marcano is the acting Chief Education Officer. I am saying that is not known to a large number of persons, not even in the Ministry of Education. But I shall stand by what you have said. I just made that point again because what I am saying is that it has been months now that post has been vacant and it is months now that person has been acting. But the person who was leaving that position, months now, would have sent in the letter of retirement. Therefore, why should that happen? The Chief Education Officer has left and many months after, this has happened. Something was delayed.

I was only using that in the context of the functionaries that we have there. I am saying, with the board, the school supervisors—I do not want us to turn off to the Chief Education Officer and miss the point that I am making. I am trying to look at it in terms of the board, that things are going to the Permanent Secretary and the Minister. I am asking where is the school supervisor in this whole thing as far as the board’s functioning is concerned. That is all I have been asking because it is important.

When I look at the duties of the board which are stated there, it seems to me that you just do not put nine people there with the necessary clerical assistance and expect it to function. Work has to be done. In fact, I am sure there must be manuals. You have to train these people if you really want to succeed, otherwise it will go the way—I do not know about the school committees, which I heard were there, and some of the PTAs—This will be no different: the work that has to be done here. There must be some very serious training programmes for the members of these boards, as the case may be. These people have to be accountable to somebody. They have to discuss goals, targets and finances. There is a very formal way these people operate. Therefore there must be a lot of training programmes before these could function.

I am wondering why is this so heavy. I looked at other boards and I do not see all these restrictions. I understand that Regulation 12(1) states that a quorum is five. Therefore, I am looking at the entire thing. I am saying that I feel it is not attainable. I do not want to say that it will not work. But a number of them will be there and what we expect of the boards we will not have, even in terms of getting personnel.

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