LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: I WILL STAND RESOLUTELY IN DEFENCE OF THE PCTT AND ALL DENOMINATIONAL BODIES WHO CHOOSE TO SECURE THEIR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS AND EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS FROM THIS GOVERNMENT’S DICTATORIAL ATTACKS.
Yesterday, the Presbyterian Church of Trinidad and Tobago received permission from the High Court to challenge alleged interference by the Teaching Service Commission concerning the settled practice of appointing teachers to denominational schools.
The settled practice, based on the Concordat of 1960, secured the religious character of denominational schools and assured the religious organisations of input on teaching and administrating appointments.
For over 70 years, judging from the exceptional performances of these schools and the demand for places in them, this system has worked well. The government has now launched a fascist propaganda attack on denominational bodies with the sole intent of destroying the Concordat and wresting control of these schools.
The Presbyterian church along with other denominational bodies have done extraordinary service towards the educational upliftment of children with only a small fraction of resources compared to what is given to government-run schools. The educational legacy of Rev. Dr John Morton and the PCTT will not be destroyed by this incompetent government.
Defunding denominational schools, hiding SEA scores, weakening marking schemes and giving scholarships under less than transparent conditions will not improve the performance of underachieving students. This PNM government’s dictatorial attack on denominational schools will wreak havoc and set this country back for generations.
Rowley, his Minister of Education and the Teaching Service Commission must leave the Concordat alone! They should concentrate on making government-run schools institutions of excellence, just as the denominational bodies have done with theirs.
I will stand resolutely in defence of all denominational bodies who choose to secure their religious beliefs and educational institutions from this government’s dictatorial attacks.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition