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Private issue

estimates2013harryhusbandsNow might be the time for the Ministry of Education to establish a separate desk to deal with private schools in Barbados.

This from Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry, Senator Harry Husbands today as he toured yet another private school, this time in Bank Hall, St. Michael.

He revealed that he was hoping to bring all the principals of the private institutions together once he completes his round of tours.

“I think we need immediately, and [Fernando] Carter from the ministry said and I completely agree, that we first need to bring the principals together and have a meeting and discuss some issues.

“It is clear to me, even at this stage, that what is needed at the ministry is a desk or some system which is dedicated solely to private education. I think that we need to do that as urgently as is possible to do something in the Government service.

“I think there is need for greater and closer liaison, not only in terms of management, standards and so forth, just general administrative purposes as well as to know what is going on on a much more regular and intimate basis in the private school system,” said Husbands.

The senator and a team from the ministry had spent the last two weeks touring private schools, which Barbados TODAY understands will continue through this week and the next to see the programmes in place and also gauge what are some of the issues facing those institutions.

Husbands spent some time in meetings with the principal, Rodney Prescod, and his senior staff at the Quarry Road-based private school, along with the ministry’s own entourage, ahead of a complete tour of the expanded compound.

He then noted: “I think that we [Barbados] have to be in a position to leverage the high regard for which the country is held for educational purposes to promote private education of all sorts. This is only one example here this morning,” the senator said.

While he stated that he could not necessarily say how private schools compared to public schools, he noted that private institutions were able to get students who were on bursaries, others who had be expelled from public schools, as well as other students.

“But there are indications in some sections of the private secondary school system that student performance in some areas is very good and improving.

“What we have seen this morning and the plans that Mr. Prescod has outlined indicate that there is probably a better future for a private education in Barbados.” (LB)

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