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Education (Amdt.) (No. 2) Bill

Tuesday, May 02, 2000

[SEN. PROF. SPENCE)

could still be kept down but different persons would be appointed by that device. So I would certainly make those suggestions when we come to the Committee Stage.

Mr. President, thank you. [Desk thumping]

Sen. Rev. Daniel Teelucksingh: Mr. President, just a brief comment and one or two observations. I know that so much has already been said. I just want to respond to an observation made and repeated which has to do with the success of the denominational schools. I know this has been a talking point among us for several years. I really believe that the success of the denominational schools is not so much because of superior management. That is what I think. I do believe that! I have come from one and we have high schools. This argument about superior management and using the denominational schools as the pattern, I do not think I want to be a part of that too much.

Mr. President, you see these so-called “prestige schools”—the denominational schools, when 30,000 children write the Common Entrance Examination they cream off the best. When these children at 12 years of age go to these “prestige schools” they go there as future scholarship winners and sixth-formers. They come bright! They cream off the best! When about 5000 to 8000 of them go to the denominational schools—the “prestige schools”—you look at the first 100 passing common entrance, where do you think is their first choice? Their first choice is not a junior secondary school; their first choice is not a comprehensive school—sorry.

Sen. Kuei Tung: I am glad that you raised that point Senator, but would you answer the question? It is obviously a chicken and egg situation. The people want to go to these schools. These schools do not ask the people to come. The people apply to go to these schools. I do not understand how the Senator can make that argument. Would you explain that for me?

Sen. Rev. D. Teelucksingh: I wish I knew the answer, but the answer is possibly in history and so on. It is in history! It is not in the present management because I know what is happening. Let us say we have five high schools, one board handles five high schools, meeting once in two months, hardly knowing what is happening! Do you know what is happening in our high schools? I am talking about five “prestige schools”! I believe the Catholics and Anglicans can

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