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Education (Amdt.) (No. 2) Bill

Tuesday, May 02, 2000

will also have in association a multimedia library and information centre linked to the resource centre and available to schools. To reflect the thrust for excellence in customer service each will also have a customer service centre.”

Mr. President, the district-based management system was proposed by Coopers and Lybrand, even though they seemed to have a theoretical preference for the school-based management system, since school-based management might be very difficult to implement in practice. I am looking at the proposals for local school boards and I am looking at them in a void because it is still a secret as to whether we are going to have educational districts, and whether we are going to have three or five or six or eight.

I find it very difficult, not knowing what decisions are being taken about educational districts, to make a final judgment. But I do know, looking at the composition of the board and looking at the Regulations, that this Board will have no standing in relation to the organization of the districts. [Desk thumping] This Board, as proposed, will have no standing in relation to the school supervisors [Desk thumping] and the Ministry, in relation to the PTA, in relation to the teachers or in relation to anybody. It is yet another entanglement added to another tangled administrative body.

I am in favour of local school boards, Mr. President, and here I have to say that, well, I find myself—first of all I find, wonder of wonders, that TTUTA and the Minister are completely in agreement on this. I have talked to TTUTA about the school boards and I got from them a letter that they wrote to the Minister and to which the Minister referred in her presentation. I believe that, if TTUTA and the Minister are at one, it is not that TTUTA is educationally backward and do not understand the significance of local school boards, I think TTUTA is acting out of fear. They are acting out of some kind of territorial imperative. They feel, and they have been made to feel, that the local school boards will be an instrument that will interfere with TTUTA and it will interfere with the professional activities of teachers.

So TTUTA complained by saying that they agree that local school boards have a role to play in assisting with the maintenance and repair of plant and equipment, fund-raising activities and establishing relationships with the community, but they object to the professional-related amendments to the Education Act. The proposed amendments, they feel, go beyond these functions and seek to direct and control the operations of teachers and the school administration. TTUTA complained that the amendments would seek to direct and control the operations of teachers and the school administration.

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