Garcia: No fight with private secondary schools
The Education Ministry is prepared to do all that is necessary to come to an agreement with the Association of Principals of Private Secondary Schools.
The Association has requested an increase in the stipend paid to the schools for assigned spots for students who have written the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) examination.
At a media conference at the Education Towers on Friday, Education Minister Anthony Garcia he is in agreement that the $1200 paid for each spot – a fee in effect since 2005 – should be increased.
However, he said, there is a process to be followed.
“I have been on record saying that at the Ministry of Education, we have actually no problem over the fact that these Principals of the private secondary schools have been doing an excellent job where education is concerned.”
“We also have no problem with the fact that there is a need for an increase in the stipend that is paid to these schools. As you know, we pay $1200 a term per student and we are convinced that there is need for an increase from $1200 to whatever is decided by Cabinet.”
Garcia again disputed claims that there was any impasse between the Ministry and the private secondary schools.
“I have no fight with those principals. I accept the fact that there is need for increase but a process must be followed. We are engaging in that process and the final arbiter where this is concerned will be Cabinet and Cabinet will decide on the quantum of the increase after I take a note to Cabinet based on the recommendations of the Ministry of Education.”
The Minister, however, has taken issue with the comments being made by the Association, some of which he deemed ‘name-calling’.
He expressed disappointment in that behaviour, urging the Association to be mindful that children are looking on.
Garcia added that educators should strive to set an example for the students under their charge.
“We must present a picture of responsibility, of integrity, and of respect, always. And by referring to the Minister of Education as being vindictive and dishonest, that certainly not the way one would expect professionals to behave.”
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