Potential in private schools
Private educational institutions in Barbados are to help lead the Government’s thrust to bring in much-needed foreign exchange.
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, with special responsibility for private schools, Senator Harry Husbands, said this afternoon, it appeared to be a growing sector.
Speaking to reporters at the end of an official tour of the Unique High School on Dayrells Road, Christ Church, Husbands revealed that he would be examining the potential of developing private educational institutions as a means of attracting foreign exchange to Barbados.
“One area that I’m particularly interested in exploring is how we can make Barbados a centre of excellence for both primary and secondary private education,” the education official announced.
“There are a lot of people [from] my experience in immigration … who want to send their children to Barbados, for both primary and secondary education; and [we must determine] how we can make these schools, and this aspect of our educational system, a centre of excellence and a generator of critical foreign exchange.”
He said that some of the schools in the private sector, for example, already did the international baccalaureate, which was of even greater importance in making Barbados a centre of international excellence for private education in the primary and secondary sectors.
“And I think that we at the ministry would need to explore how much further we can take that, what is necessary in order to develop it, all in the interest of the promotion of Barbados,” said the parliamentary secretary.
“You know already the foreign medical school is established in Barbados in its infancy, and we certainly want to, through the mechanism such as the Accreditation Council, TVET and so on, expand our reach, our scope in this area; but we need first of all to have a clear first-hand experience and grounding in what is exactly going on in the private educational sector,” Husbands added.
Today’s visit to the Unique High School, he explained, was part of a series to private schools which had made long and outstanding contributions to the local educational system. He reasoned that such visits were critical in assisting the Government in shaping the path forward.
Husbands told reporters, while his tour of the Unique High School was not primarily to increase its subvention, it was a matter which would be seriously considered in the long-term. His reason for the visits, he noted, was more of a familiarisation exercise in which the ministry would assess the needs and challenges of the schools in order to determine future assistance. (EJ)