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Education (Amdt.) (No. 2) Bill

Tuesday, May 02, 2000

would not have come within the number of places that the Government could have chosen for those schools, the principal could now go and choose the children to make up that other 20 per cent. We start off in different ways. So let us not lump everything.

The second point I want to make, Mr. President, is that I do not know what will be considered the community around any of our government secondary schools in Tobago. I do not know where we will consider the community. Will it be where the school is situated? Take Signal Hill for example, there are 10 children from Signal Hill going to Signal Hill Senior Comprehensive in a school of 1,000 children. Where is the community? The school is located in an environment from which not many children come. Scarborough Secondary School is not even in a village. There is no one living within a 100 metres or so of Scarborough Secondary School. We have to be careful as to how we phrase some of these things, because they will not apply to every situation.

I am saying let us not go too hard and fast, meticulous, particular and detailed and want to write everything, because in some instances they would be relevant and in some instances they would be totally out of order. Mr. President, those are the few points I would like to make.

As I said at the beginning: I think we will have too many boards. Let us start, probably as a pilot project and do the boards for the government secondary schools. Leave the primary schools alone for a while and see how these things work at the secondary level and we could probably expand by asking the principals if they are ready for such a board. Not to say to them: "We want to put a board to manage your school." You must be able to say: "Look we want to put a board, are you ready, how do you think this board should be made up et cetera?" Then you would know. Probably you may have—for example if you take these schools I listed here: Bon Accord, Black Rock, Buccoo and Montgomery, they are in the same catchment area. What do you want with four school boards? You come back: Mason Hall, Table Piece, Runnemede and Moriah, they are in the same catchment area. Probably in some instances—the population of some of these schools is 150, 170 whatever. I do not think it is right for you just to make a hard and fast and a blanket thing. I am suggesting to you, Mr. President, that we look at it.

Mr. President, I do not know if it is because we have a new system of counting or whatever, but my regulations jump from 14 to 16. I have no 15 on mine. I am wondering whether 15 was omitted or whether 16 should be 15. I do

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