Religious school boards vex | Local News


SANATAN Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) General Secretary Vijay Maharaj said faith councils were unhappy with the government’s “disrespectful” decision not to appoint any of its members to a committee to review and recommend changes the secondary entrance assessment (SEA) and the Concordat.

In a telephone interview with the Express, Maharaj said the councils would meet today to “draft a disrespectful complaint” and raise their concerns to the education ministry.

The ministry said yesterday that Cabinet approved the creation of a committee to review and recommend changes to the conduct of the SEA and the transition to high school and the Concordat.

Represent a majority of schools

A statement from the Ministry of Education informed that the creation of the committee was initiated following the compilation of the results of the Virtual National Consultation on Education 2020: “Transforming Education — We Need a Village” and the review relevant consultation reports.

Maharaj noted that faith councils collectively represent the majority of schools in Trinidad and Tobago.

“We (SDMS) are the third largest denominational school board in the country after Catholics and Presbyterians. We would have thought that our contribution was necessary in both the EES and the Concordat which they wish to review, so we think we have been looked down upon and disrespectful, ”he said.

He noted that the Concordat is an agreement that was signed in 1960 between John S Donaldson on behalf of the Cabinet of Trinidad and Tobago and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese, which represented all denominational schools and councils.

‘Very disappointed’

Maharaj said that denominational councils in this country have 340 primary schools and 44 colleges.

“From now on, we are all left behind, both in the revision of the Concordat and in the SEA. I’m very disappointed because you have a lot of what you call ‘technocrats’, not people on the ground, university professors and wheelchair critics, ”he said.

He said there was no representation from denominational councils — the Roman Catholic council, the Presbyterian council, the ASJA council, the SDMS council, or the Anglican council.

Maharaj said the committee has three representatives from the Interfaith Organization (IRO), but that body does not have members who necessarily have schools and therefore cannot represent faith councils in a “tangible” way.

He stressed that the committee includes a “large contingent”.

“It is totally disrespectful not only for the Maha Sabha, but for the association of denominational councils,” he said.

He asked when the committee was formed because one of the members – Lance Mottley – is no longer the president of the National Primary School Principals Association (NAPSA) – there was an election and he was removed from office. functions.

“How was this committee formed? I think the Department of Education takes denominational council for granted, ”he said.

Maharaj said the SDMS and a number of other faith councils had been taken for granted and sidelined, saying they had not received any devices the government had distributed to schoolchildren.

He said all of them went to public schools.


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