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Education (Amdt.) (No. 2) Bill

Tuesday, May 02, 2000

[SEN. PROF. RAMCHAND]

board for that district which would be the macro boards, but then we could take a leaf out of the books of the denominations and set up—whether we call them administrative committees or not—committees relating to each school where the principals, students and so forth operate. So you have the primary school board responsible for all the primary schools in that region or district, and the secondary for all, and then the separate boards—

Hon. K. Persad-Bissessar: Hon. Senator, I am very surprised—and I mean no disrespect to you—that, having listened to your contribution about centralization and decentralization, that your recommendation would be for one primary school board in a district. I listened—even though I may appear not to have listened—carefully and I understood you to be telling us that the ministry is talking about decentralization, but what we are doing is in fact centralizing. And here you are suggesting otherwise.

Take an education district for example, we have eight in our Republic, and have one board for each district. I beg to differ. The policy has always been, in our respectful view, to have the community involved in each school. We looked at the issue of clusters and I do not think we should go back to having one primary board for a district, I beg to differ with that. I really do not think we want to: that is centralizing and with the greatest respect it is inconsistent with your contribution.

Sen. Prof. Ramchand: It is not really. Mr. President: Let us not get involved in further discussion. Sen. Prof. Ramchand: I just want to clarify something.

Mr. President: If you want to clarify something, ask, but do not go making a second or third contribution.

Sen. Prof. Ramchand: Thank you, Mr. President. It is a clarification that when I said a primary school board within the district, it was one that overlooked the real committees that were dealing with the schools. You say there is a Presbyterian Board, but in fact, what operates are these administrative committees dealing with these schools? That is the clarification, so I do not think it is inconsistent.

Hon. K. Persad-Bissessar: I would not go further because I would say, I would have listened to Sen. Rev. Teelucksingh telling me that those are not working properly anyhow. That is what he also said. If I heard him correctly, those are also not working in the best interest.

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