The brunt of the workload for the Ministry of Education comes around this time when students are preparing to move onto another level of learning as there are several initiatives that the ministry has undertaken including the three hundred dollar subsidy for the secondary students who apply as well as scholarships, assistance rendered to students, assessment of schools, among others. One of the endeavours that the Minister of Education, Patrick Faber spoke of some time ago was the establishment of a ceiling for secondary school tuition. As Minister Faber mentioned when he first spoke of this, it would be a difficult initiative as the church-run schools may take some time to come on board, if they do any at all. Recently, we spoke with Chief Executive Officer for education, David Leacock to find out what progress has been made to this end.
“Unfortunately we have not completed that exercise. It is something with all the other things we have going on, kinda a got pushed to the back burner a bit but we need to redouble our efforts on that and working with the high schools, as you know change is hard and working with the high schools, engaging with the high schools it’s a lot of discussion, a lot of negotiation to get the change that we need and with all the other things competing, we weren’t able to complete that process, we need to redouble our efforts and get back on that because that is definitely an important thing.”
As for future plans involving the various educational institutions, CEO Leacock says that three schools have expressed to the ministry their willingness to join efforts.
“Amalgamation. We have a school amalgamation policy in place for years now and we continue to pursue that. I know that in the Corozal District there are three schools; the names slip me at this time, but my understanding from the District Education Manager is that the three schools have agreed that they are ready to move in that direction and that is something we are working on. I am not certain if it will take effect for this September but it’s something we are working on.”
Currently, the ministry is awaiting the results of the Primary School Examination while several subjects for the CSEC exams are still being sat by secondary school students.