600 basic schools to be rationalised
The Education Ministry says it will rationalise and merge 600 basic schools into 220 infant schools by year end.
In a statement to Parliament yesterday, Education Minister, Ronald Thwaites, also disclosed that the Ministry closed 11 primary schools last year, as the institutions had more teachers than students.
Thwaites argued that while there was a surplus of 2,600 teachers in the educational system, beyond the ratios for primary and secondary schools, a deficit of trained teachers was impacting the early childhood system.
The education minister was responding to concerns about various challenges facing the early childhood sector.
Providing further details on the problem, Thwaites said there were 220 primary schools with less than 100 students.
The education minister pointed out that under the present education regulations no teacher can be transferred from an institution unless they agree to the redeployment.
Thwaites told his parliamentary colleagues that of the 1,706 math teachers in high schools, 740 of them are qualified to teach the subject.
He noted that many of the teachers who are teaching math in high schools are trained in guidance counseling, religious knowledge, sports education, history and social studies.
The education minister said despite this, the ministry could not move any of these teachers but can only encourage them at the public’s expense to retrain.
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