Poor example being set by private secondary schools association

It is imperative that the Trinidad and Tobago Association of Private Secondary Schools takes stock of their actions and the games that are being played while using the nation’s children as pawns. In a recent newspaper article the association went as far as referring to the Minister of Education as “ridiculous and vindictive”. Not only is this statement disrespectful to the office of the Minister, but is also a poor example to the students who fall under the charge of these individuals. The Ministry of Education has continued to acknowledge the role that these schools have played in the education system and continues to work assiduously to ensure that all that is owed is paid. It seems now that the association is taking every opportunity to spin one concern into multiple issues that are not connected.

The association has even attempted to cause panic among the students in their charge by making claims of students being displaced come September. The only achievement of this statement would be unnecessary panic by concerned parents, guardians and students. If this association was truly serious about continuing to educate students at the seven (7) schools it represents, the focus would not be on creating public spectacle through misleading and propaganda but on solution to challenges through proper and professional discourse. The Ministry of Education would never willingly have any students displaced and deprived of an education in the way the association attempts to portray.

At a point in time when the Ministry and the association are supposed to be entering into negotiations on good faith, the association continues to operate in a manner that can only be described as reprehensible. It has been the focus of this Government, through the Ministry of Education, to achieve the increase that these schools deserve, while working on paying the monies that are outstanding. Instead of working with the Ministry for the purpose of delivering a quality education to students, the association has sought to play dirty politics in an attempt to force the Minister’s hand. It should be noted that this tactic will bear no fruit as no one within the Ministry of Education will bend to threats, name calling or dirty games. The Ministry of Education will continue to work on the payments owed to these schools as the schools provide all necessary information and will also be preparing for continued negotiations on the proposed increase to the monies paid for student spaces.

Minister of Education Anthony Garcia expressed his regret with the way the association has propelled this matter stating “at this point in time I can only express disappointment with the way in which the association has attempted to treat with this matter. I found the statements made to not only be disrespectful to the office that I hold, but also a poor example for the secondary students that these schools represent. However, I will continue to state that the Ministry of Education, guided by government policy, will continue to work as is necessary. I take the opportunity also to remind students that sometimes when people go low, it is up to you to go high. That is my take away from this situation, one of us must be an exemplar to the students of Trinidad and Tobago that we represent.”

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