Contingency plan in place if private schools can't take students
Education Minister Anthony Garcia has assured that contingency plans are in place after several private secondary schools said they are not guaranteed to open come September if the current impasse with the government continues over remuneration issues.
The Education Minister gave the assurance, as he addressed the issue at the post-cabinet media briefing on Thursday at the Diplomatic Centre in St. Ann’s.
“I want to assure the national community that we will provide spaces for students if the private secondary schools refuse to continue accommodating them,” he said.
However, Garcia assured that the issues surrounding remuneration are being addressed.
The private secondary schools are seeking an increase in the stipend paid by the Ministry.
Principals of several private schools have indicated that they cannot continue to provide places for students at their schools at the current rate being paid.
The Education Minister said the matter will now before Cabinet for consideration.
“This morning the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education handed me the position of the Ministry on this matter which will be presented to the Cabinet,” he said.
The Education Minister added that as far as he was concerned there is no between the Ministry and the private secondary schools, as being reported by the media.
“As far as I am concerned, there is no fight. The private schools have submitted their position. Cabinet is the only body that can make a decision on this matter. As soon as this done I will make it known,” the Education Minister said.
He also sought to assure that all students who wrote the Secondary Entrance Assessment were placed.
“This has not had an impact on the placement of students from the 2018 exam. All students who were eligible for a place in a school were placed this year,” he said.
Garcia explained that there are 12 private schools which usually accept SEA students.
However, he revealed that only three of these private secondary schools indicated that they would be willing to accept students until the matter is resolved.
These schools, he said included the Johnson’s Finishing School and the Open Bible High School. A total of 300 students were placed in private secondary schools.
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