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Education ministry awaits information on Central High chairman

Published:Wednesday | March 27, 2019 | 12:28 AM

The Ministry of Education says it is aware of reports questioning the appointment of the current chairman of the board of management of Central High School in Clarendon.

In a release yesterday, the ministry said it has requested information on the status of the case before the courts pertaining to the chairman and will await a full update before making a determination on his appointment.

The People’s National Party (PNP) has called for the immediate removal of Central High Chairman Henry Morant amid reports that he is currently on bail for a murder charge.

PNP caretaker for Central Clarendon, Zuleika Jess, said that the minister in charge of education should immediately revoke the appointment of the chairman pursuant to Section 79 (3) of the Education Regulations, pending the outcome of his court case.

ministry Guided by Education Regulations

However, in its response, the ministry said it does not make recommendations for appointments to school boards. According to the ministry, it is guided by the requirements of the Education Regulations which set out the groups and entities that may nominate or elect persons for appointment by the minister to school boards. One such body is the National Council on Education, which has developed its own guidelines for persons nominated by the council for appointment to school boards.

Under the guidelines, prospective board members must be fit and proper persons, meaning persons who are of sound mind and who have not been convicted of an offence under certain legislation, including Offences Against the Person Act; the Child Care and Protection Act; the Sexual Offences Act; or have committed acts of fraud. They also should have attained at least a secondary-level education.

To qualify as board chairs, individuals have to attain at least post-secondary/vocational education and gained a minimum of three years’ experience in supervisory management. They should also have a proven record of accomplishment in supervision and management; have a keen interest in education and nation building; and possess excellent negotiating, interpersonal and conflict-resolution skills.

The ministry has sought to assure the public that it was moving towards having this matter addressed in the shortest possible time.