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Education (Amdt.) (No. 2) Bill

Tuesday, May 02, 2000

the vetting of all Members of this Chamber. Therefore, questions dealing with the composition of the board, powers and duties of the board, all those matters that are contained within the proposed Regulations at the moment, would come back to you and, therefore, you would have a second bite, as it were, of what is happening and be able to influence what will happen with respect to the Regulations.

I will certainly take the comments and suggestions that have been made with respect to those Regulations on board and I give the assurance to Sen. Dr. Mc Kenzie that it is in fact, our intention to deal with the secondary schools first. That is my intention. However, the suggestion that we have clusters of boards was something that was considered and there were difficulties with that, because if we were using a cluster of schools and having one board, we would immediately be excluding the principal of that school, or any specific school. So if we took five schools, we would exclude a principal or four principals; we would exclude the student representative on that particular board for the cluster of schools. Whereas, if we had separate boards, we could pick up a principal for each school, a student representative, past pupil association and the others who are fixed in terms of what we are suggesting.

Sen. Rev. Teelucksingh: Mr. President, there are cases where there are two government schools separated by a chain link fence, that is what we are talking about. That can be a cluster. There is one in Chaguanas, where a chain link fence separates two high schools and that is what we would mean by cluster.

Hon. K. Persad-Bissessar: There is a student population in that school, again you have a principal in this school and a principal in that school, a PTA in this school, a PTA in that school, you have a teacher body TTUTA in this school and in that school, so we gave it consideration and we will give it further consideration. I am saying it will come back to you, but the point is that some persons are going to be left out and the question is whether if leaving that person out would serve the benefit of the specific school as opposed to the benefit of a cluster of schools, and whether if we have a board specifically for school (a) and one for school (b), (c) and (d) with persons drawn from the school itself as well as those from the community, whether we would not have given a greater management team than what is proposed from a cluster. Certainly it is something we can look at again.

Sen. Shabazz: Must the board be made up of nine persons only, why can the number not be increased?

Sen. Prof. Ramchand: Mr. Chairman, I wonder if the Minister would consider the notion of cluster, but in relation to districts. So if there were seven or eight districts you would have a primary school board and a secondary school

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