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Education (Amdt.) (No. 2) Bill

Tuesday, May 02, 2000

Mr. President, a great deal was said by my colleague, the distinguished Sen. Yuille-Williams, with regard to the modus operandi of the Ministry of Education and the running of schools and so forth. That means that I will not go over those questions. Take these regulations: the lack of which caused a big furore in this Parliament from which I was fortunately absent for a few hours. I wish to state—I did not say that before—that I am glad that these regulations were circulated some time now, so no additional strain could be brought on the Minister for late submission, which could have meant unnecessary stress for her.

Mrs. Persad-Bissessar: You are very kind, thank you.

Sen. M. Jagmohan: Mr. President, my colleague mentioned that there are eight educational districts in Trinidad at the moment. Some contemplation is there for reducing the districts. I wish to pose, through you, Mr. President, this question, to the hon. Minister of Education—[Interruption]

[Power failure]

Mr. President: I think we would require the notes to be taken in shorthand. Can we continue? I think the Senator speaks sufficiently loudly.

3.35 p.m.

Sen. M. Jagmohan: Mr. President, thank you for supporting the fact that I have a well-nurtured voice. I was saying even if there were to be school boards, I wonder if the Minister would not consider one school board for every district. That would be easier to manipulate because the large denominations have one school board for each district. It is a point to ponder over.

I wish to say that the information has come out that the ministry does not have a CEO at the moment, therefore, vacancies cannot be filled or effectively processed because of that lack. Whether this is so or not, the Minister has all the machinery to do something about it. In another area, there is great fear already existing among the supervisory staff in the Ministry of Education and moreso some of them are of the impression that their rights, privileges and duties can be usurped by the school boards. Some kind of arrangement has to be made to look into this matter of the primary school. In the first instance it has to be properly staffed.

I have information at my disposal that there is a particular school in the Penal area—which falls in the constituency of Siparia—that a gentleman is acting as vice-principal for seven years and the Teaching Service Commission has not yet found time to deal with this. A very senior official on that board brought this to my attention

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