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Education (Amdt.) (No. 2) Bill

Tuesday, May 02, 2000

[SEN. JAGMOHAN]

I have some jurisdiction with a certain school board where the very distinguished acting principal has completed five years of acting and has now entered into his sixth year of acting. We are aware that the primary school section of the Ministry of Education did not have an Administrative Officer IV for a little over a year now, they got one, maybe a few weeks now. We are hoping that things would be speeded up because they now have an Administrative Officer II and an Administrative Officer IV in place.

Money is budgeted for spending to put the school boards in place, and we are not opposing for the sake of opposition, we are arguing sensibly that it would serve the nation’s schools and the education of the children of the nation much better if 24-hour security personnel are placed at all primary schools. That cost would not be too sizeable because the Government is availing itself of the services of private security firms where I think the $7.00 an hour is being observed. Unfortunately though.

The distinguished Sen. Prof. Ramchand said denominational boards have more staff, they have the board and the school supervisor. I am saying that government schools have more staff. In order for a denominational board to get work done be it minor maintenance or major repairs in their primary schools there is a process. It must be reported to the Ministry of Education, the ministry will send someone to look at this and after this is done, they may ask the school boards to submit estimates, then they will proceed to revise the estimates and then get approval and proceed with the work.

In government schools, if there are any problems, particularly sanitary or building problems, or supply of furniture and so forth, just like that a Government department would go into action and government schools will get what they need, whilst denominational boards will not. They will have difficulty, and yet they perform extremely well under those pressures.

With respect to the section—I am sorry the Minister of Works and Transport is not here, I would have raised a big question—the Minister alluded to the vision of the Government and I say that the People's National Movement has a bigger vision and the distinguished Leader of the People's National Movement made his revised vision known to the nation last Sunday. [Desk thumping]

Mr. President, a speaker before me raised the question of geographical jurisdiction of the school boards; where you live, what you do and so forth. This is a very important point: the Minister could take note and deal with it in whatever way she sees fit. Can a principal be a chairman of another board of a school where

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