Education (Amdt.) (No. 2) Bill
Tuesday, May 02, 2000
he is not the principal in that catchment area? He may not be the principal, but perhaps he resides there and the place where he resides may have a government school. The point I am making is that teachers are very important in Trinidad and Tobago. Other people are important as well. School principals, particularly those with some years of service who have given yeoman service and can give much more if given an opportunity to do so.
Mr. President, we find it an embarrassment that a principal will be an ex officio member of a school board, he may attend meetings in that capacity, but would have no voting rights and he is the manager, principal, leader, everything and the school staff are under his control. Something is not right about this and it has to be looked at.
In certain areas, of course in all areas of life in Trinidad and Tobago, there are important officers residing. What if an Administrative Officer II who is in charge of the staff at the primary section resides in an area where there is a government school. Can he or she become a member of the school board? My argument is that such a person can be of tremendous help in running a school board properly, although we say now is not the time for school boards, but we have to think in this regard.
I looked at the Regulations and the Act and I did not pick up anything, but if important officers of denominational boards reside in a catchment area where there is to be a board for a government school, will the secretary or chairman of a board be considered for appointment on the boards that run government schools? This is a question about which we are thinking.
Mr. President, on page 3, clause 5(2)(a) says:
“The Minister may revoke the appointment of a member, other than the Principal, where—
he is absent without leave meetings of the Board;
This does not seem right. It seems to me that the board should be the one to deal with this situation and not the chairman. He should not be given that kind of authority. When we go a little lower down, clause 8 says:
“The Chairman shall, as soon as possible, after the start of each year of office, hold an annual general meeting to—
(a) review the Board’s performance in the preceding year;