Saturday 19 October, 2019

No funds: Presbyterian schools facing closure

Presbyterian schools are under threat of disruption of classes as Government funding has not been forthcoming since last year.

Denominational schools are Government assisted, receiving around one-third of the funding they require to guarantee timely payments to janitorial and ancillary staff and ensure the efficient running of its schools from the Government.

General Secretary of the Presbyterian Secondary Schools’ Board of Education Gary Samai told LoopTT that with subventions not having been paid since around mid-last year, loans have had to be taken and parents and church members have been footing the bill to ensure basic operations continue uninterrupted.

The School Board oversees the operation of St Augustine Girls High School, Naparima Girls’ High School, Naparima College, Hillview College and Iere High School.

He said the Presbyterian primary schools have been faced with the same problem, and have approached the Board for loans – which it cannot afford to facilitate.

Samai said it was disappointing to see that money was disbursed for the Chutney Soca Monarch when this was the situation being faced by these schools.

The Board is calling for the disbursement of funds to ensure the quality of education offered at its schools is not compromised.

Education Minister Anthony Garcia indicated that the Government is burdened with a cash flow problem which has affected its ability to disburse funds to these schools. He assured, however, that payments would be made soon, as the Ministry is working to ensure that all outstanding payments are settled.

The Presbyterian Church celebrate 150 years of Presbyterian Service to Trinidad & Tobago.

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