Posted: Thursday, August 13, 2020. 4:25 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Current Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, is somewhat skeptical about the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) plans to trim administrative bloat and otherwise reform the education system.
Speaking to reporters this afternoon, Faber said that among the 1,200 ‘non-educators’ cited by the former Minister of Education, Francis Fonseca, are school wardens, truancy officers, bursars and school secretaries.
Unless the Opposition is more specific, Faber said, there is now a clear warning that these persons are in danger of losing their jobs should the PUP form the next government.
As for the ballooning in expenditure, much of that is the agreed salary adjustment for teachers which was implemented in 2016, according to Faber.
The pledge to make all teachers trained, Faber said, is built on the UDP’s foundation of increasing the complement of teacher training by half from 2008 (a total of 84 percent).
As for enrolment numbers, Faber said, the devil is sometimes in the details. The Opposition, he said, compared figures using the mid-year national population estimate and are “cooking the figures” and that the real figure shows increases in the secondary school population and a slight fall in primary schools.
At early childhood level, more pre-schools have been built and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is funding 22 more state-of-the-art early childhood education centers, and Faber said he willingly gives Fonseca credit for insisting on a head start, but instead of the five-year plan the PUP presents, the UDP is already active in this endeavor.
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