Education (Amdt.) (No. 2) Bill
Tuesday, May 02, 2000
What is the board to do? What I have been hearing is that there had been some delays in getting things done and the Government feels that with a school board in place at each school, it would be able to get things done even faster, boards will go out and try to raise some funds that will help to do things with the repairs and what not. But there are some boards out there, there is no way the communities would report anything at all.
Therefore, if there is a way of passing it over to the board, I am saying it cannot be, because you have to fund these things. There is no way that those small schools in Salybia or Las Cuevas could be supported by the community, or that it could in any way assist in raising the money to do anything in some of these schools.
When I read the Hansard, I am getting the feeling that we are expecting these boards to take up the slack whereas, as a responsible Government we might not have been able to attend to their needs. Therefore, we would have to look at that very carefully because the same things that we are expecting, probably it could be a little more frustrating not only to the boards, but to the schools and principals because they now have a different way of getting things done than before.
This is another point in the case of decentralization. There are eight educational divisions now and schools are organized in educational divisions. I know ahead of time that there is a plan to come up with four education divisions; three in Trinidad and one in Tobago. Therefore, what is going to happen when we organize these four education divisions? How are these boards going to relate to them, straight to the permanent secretary? What is going to happen at this point? These Regional Education Districts as they call them (RED), how are the boards going to operate in terms of these four? If we are talking about decentralization, why are these boards even now, reporting to the permanent secretary? If we have not put RED in place as yet, which are the four? There are eight educational districts, the least you can do is to let those in each district have some kind of district board so you could have eight for the time being with representatives from all the boards if you want to keep all these boards, because they need some support. So if there are all these boards in a district, for the time being, as you have eight educational divisions, why not let those in each division have a board to which they can all come at some point so there is one representing the others— a central board. Out of these eight then you have a board for the Government schools which is in the same line as the denominational boards. That is how you get there.