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Education (Amdt.) (No. 2) Bill

Tuesday, May 02, 2000

3.25 p.m.

There are 62 positions of school supervisor in Trinidad and Tobago, and there are 30 positions of curriculum officer. If you think only of primary schools, one school supervisor has to deal with 20 schools. Since Independence, there has been no increase in the number of school supervisors but there have been increases in the number of schools. Since Independence, Mr. President, more and more duties have been added to school supervisors, but no new school supervisor has been appointed; vacancies have been left unfilled.

I just want to read, again, from this Cabinet document concerning supervisors.

"There have been no increases in the numbers of supervisors in the 36 years since Independence. They reflect ratios of 20 schools per school supervisor. This situation is exacerbated by the fact that the Ministry of Education has not been permitted to fill several of these posts.

Where curriculum officers are concerned..." Listen to this, Mr. President:

Where curriculum officers are concerned, taking into consideration the number of subjects taught in schools, there is typically one curriculum officer per subject for the entire system: primary and secondary. Thus, typically, there is only one fulltime curriculum officer in Mathematics to serve the 583 public institutions identified at paragraph 10 above."

Mr. President: Senator, I am just reminding you that you have three more minutes.

Sen. Prof. Ramchand: Thank you.

Mr. President, I feel that there is a terrible situation as far as the administration of education is concerned. This situation has arisen because of the failure to appoint committees of management, and throwing the burden of running schools on supervisors and curriculum officers, who simply come out to the schools— well I mean if one is travelling by plane one would be able to cover 20 schools in a month. But if one has 20 schools on one’s plate, I just do not see how one can do the work. It is uncoordinated, it is cursory. They seldom have a grasp of what is going on in those schools and what I am suggesting, Mr. President, is that the present legislation does not really do anything different from what the Education

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