Concordat a cloud over our schools
THERE are two types of public schools in T&T according to the Education Act (1966) section 11 ( 4 & 5): government schools and assisted schools. Nowhere in the Education Act is reference made to special religious denominational schools.
Assisted schools make up more than three quarters of the public schools, with one leading denominational board from the Spanish colonial era controlling more than 220 of the 479 public primary schools.
Therefore, it can hardly be said that the state of education is determined by government schools. According to the Concordat of 1960, a denominational board can object to an appointment on moral or religious grounds. This opens up a can of abuse, distrust, inequality, discrimination, injustice and unfairness which operates today as it has in the past.
The government schools are fast outperforming the assisted schools, as can be seen in the assessment of schools. The principals are highly qualified in all areas of school leadership as they do not have to rely on favouritism for promotion.
Until the Corcordat is revised or scrapped altogether, our system of education will forever be archaic, discriminatory and unjust. Our students will never be afforded an education that they deserve and some will not be able to get out of poverty. The status quo will remain as the state will be paying denominational bodies to create their "cultures " in public schools, somthing which can only happen in T&T.