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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites says private schools remain a vibrant part of the education system.
  • The Government’s decision not to this year place any of the students who sat the Grade Six Achievement Test, (GSAT) at these institutions.
  • The Government will realise some $15 million in savings based partially on this decision. The funds will go towards improving the public education system.

Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites says private schools remain a vibrant part of the education system, despite the Government’s decision not to this year place any of the students who sat the Grade Six Achievement Test, (GSAT) at these institutions.

He says the Government will realise some $15 million in savings based partially on this decision. The funds will go towards improving the public education system.

Minister Thwaites told JIS News that there are still enough students in the secondary school system to enable private institutions to exist comfortably.

“More students can now be accommodated in public schools. However there is considerable room for private schools that offer special education to challenged students with particular needs,” he said.

The Minister assured that the Ministry remains willing to support these institutions in this regard. “We must remember though that these are private schools and the market will determine how they operate,” he noted.

Rev. Thwaites said a number of private schools have been using a number of measures to ensure that they continue to operate viably. These include a reduction of school fees, and strong partnerships with parents.

Meanwhile, he is encouraging principals and teachers in primary and secondary schools to use the upcoming summer break to implement programmes that will help students who are entering high schools in September.

“Even though the GSAT results would have been encouraging in some aspects, there is a lot of work to be done with some students as they prepare to start their secondary school education,” he remarked, noting that the classes will help to build on their strengths and resolve weaknesses as they transition to secondary education.

The Education Minister said plans are being finalised for the implementation of a homework programme in a number of the island’s primary and high schools.

This he said is necessary for students who do not have strong support at home and in their communities.

“This homework programme will create a new learning environment for the students and will ensure that teachers are able to focus more on the individual needs of the students which should be fewer in numbers compared to regular school,” he stated.