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Education (Amdt.) (No. 2) Bill

Tuesday, May 02, 2000

[SEN. DR. MC KENZIE]

first time; no light bill was paid for the first time. All kinds of confusion arose as soon as we had to be put under the Government. For the first time in the 20-odd years of the operation of our school that happened. So sometimes the answer is not there and I am saying that you do not have to have a board for every school. You can have a secondary school board if you want, a primary school board, or a board for every cluster of schools. That will make them cooperate, share, and use their resources, and lend to each other and so forth.

I would recommend that the Minister look at this and probably get some sort of discussion with people who actually operate boards and let us tailor it down a little more, or in her implementation, roster it. Do the secondary schools or something, but I think if we try to operate this as it is, especially where you see some people—I hope this was not published. I see things like money, member and board and travelling, because these people operate on a voluntary basis. Do not put that you know, because if this Bill is passed, everybody would ask for their board. You should have put the word “confidential” so that nobody could have seen this. I am just being a little humorous.

Mr. President, I think that we should delay a little on some of the things that we have. Put it on a phased basis, probably start with our secondary schools, give our Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) a little more teeth, and probably give it little finance so that it could implement some of the things we want the boards to do and things like that.

Then look at the part which says four persons nominated by the Minister as he deems necessary after consultation with the relative interest groups and stakeholders within the community. Look at this community matter well because many of our schools do not have any community. They are just in a nice spot conducive to education.

The Minister of Education (Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar): Mr. President, I join with other Members in congratulating the hon. Sen. Valere on her maiden contribution in the Senate, and I thank Members for their expressions of concern and their kindness with respect to not giving me any more stress. That is very kind of them, and I thank them for that. I thank all Members for contributions they have made, the suggestions, comments and certainly I will be looking at those.

Many of the comments have been with respect to the Regulations and we have made an amendment in the House to the Bill that is before you which is to say that the Regulations be subject to negative resolutions of Parliament and, therefore, it means that whatever Regulations we may bring, would be subject to

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