BVI News

Gov’t should fund private schools — Farara

Gerard Farara

Chairman of the privately-owned St Georges Secondary School, Gerard Farara wants private schools to get financial assistance from government.

Farara said funds ought to be set aside for private schools if these educational facilities are to remain in operation.

He made the statement during a government meeting with residents of the Fourth Electoral District at Althea Scatliffe Primary School yesterday.

“Education, whether it be public or private; we are all in this together to the extent that if private schools do well, the country does well. To the extent where public schools do well, the country does well. To the extent where we collectively do well, the country not only does well, it rises [and] it shines,” Farara said.

The St Georges school chairman further reasoned that the territory needs to do away with the mentality that public funds can’t be committed to private institutions.

“It is [a question of] sustainability and existence when you speak in the context of private schools. There is a dire need for financial assistance from government and we ought to ensure that is in the budget,” he added.

Education Minister Myron Walwyn, who was in earshot when Farara voiced the concerns, said private schools have been receiving professional support from government.

He, however, agreed that government needs to do more.

“We have to find a way to support them financially,” the minister stated.

Cedar International School, St George’s primary and secondary schools, and Seventh-day Adventist schools are all privately-operated institutions.

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  1. .. says:

    Well what then is the point of tuitions? I’m sorry Government CANNOT do everything! The keyword is PRIVATE..

  2. vi says:

    Is Government also going to be collecting the elaborate tuition directly from the parents? If the answer is No, why should Govt fund them? Govt has enough public schools to maintain

  3. Question says:

    So the government should fund private schools from money borrowed or received from taxes etc.And we the tax payers have to pay back those borrowed money one way or the other.And the money to fix roads and clinics and public schools to be given to private schools ???.Where is the government going to get all this money from .The government is already giving free tuition at Hlscc which is help causing it to run to the ground and private schools need to be funded by government?? The minister of education and the premier got the money making machine that the opposition and public don t know about.where is all this money going to come from to do all these things that we want to see happen??

  4. Albion says:

    People have different opinions on how much support private schools should receive from Government. But what is certainly clear to me is that, taken as a whole, the educational sector needs a great deal more support than it currently gets. Our schools are far behind global standards, and falling further behind every year. Now the politicians will try to use Irma as an excuse for a problem that existed for years before the hurricane hit. We need firm remedial action, and we need it soon.

    • EastMan says:

      Albion- I agree with you. The change we all would like to see will take a generation to manifest it self as we didn’t suddenly arrived to the position we are in today. It is imperative that the parent’s take stock,assertain a moral compus and and be a positive influence in their children’s lives and the lives of the youths in the wider community. Over and out.

  5. Be realistic says:

    What we need to do is help the helpless get their homes in readiness for the hurricane season that starts in four months.And am talking about the people who really needs help.Not those who have three and four hundred thousand in the bank trying to leave it in the bank for children and grandchildren to fight over when they died and died we all have to and trying to get every cent that is offered by government. The same natural disasters that occurred could occurred again so we better stop been greedy and prepare our souls and not our homes alone.

  6. Guest says:

    Ok he chatting pure s***. You have tuition, in some cases you want to operate outside of government curriculum, you too good for government to have a say in your internal functions, but you ain’t too good to take government money. Boy tell that lawyer haul he ……….

  7. Resident says:

    No Mr Farara not with those exorbitant fees. I know some countries such as SVG pay the teachers in most private schools run mainly by the churches but the fees are termly fees and no where near the BVI.

  8. By says:

    no means necessary.

  9. Lp says:

    Lmao so why yall private? If you want to be apart of the government’s funding, you have to follow all the government rules and regulations; be public. You cant reap what you aint sow. *shrugs*

  10. Socrates says:

    Agree with Jerry. It has been 4 months since Hurricane Irmaria strike and by now government should have better estimates of the damages. It is obvious that Irmaria caught government flat footed and back on its heels.; it was in a maze after the Hurricane Irmaria. Investigation teams should have already been comprised to hit the pavement after the storms passed. Did this happen. No.

    What is the basis for the $3.6B damages? There must be confidence and credibility in numbers. A technically qualified team should have been put together to assess damages.

    Similarly, a technically quailified team should be leading the recovery plan? No diss on Penn. Why the hell is TBLIA extension on the recovery plan? People are homeless, unemployed……..etc and you elitists are worried about satisfying your rich friends, your stinking damn legacy……..etc. Excuse me I need to puke!

    The BVI recovery needs both a short-term and long-term recovery plans. The 5-year, $721M ting is a supposed short-term recovery plan. 10-20 year is typically longer- and long-term plan. We are behaving like some poor 3rd World country. Oh yeah, we are resource poor and poor boasting.

  11. Hmmm says:

    Sorry to say but government could barely fund public schools is private they going to start. C’mon private collects money as tuition government don’t.

  12. Max says:

    Jerry have money. He could fund them

  13. Online Now says:

    I don’t believe that the Government should be financially supporting the private schools but the Government could certainly learn from the education that they give!

    A bigger problem is that the majority of those passing through those schools will never contribute to the Territory (regardless of whether they want to) as they will not achieve the right status to work in the BVI without a work permit.

  14. Retired says:

    The primary and secondary education system on these West Indies islands has always baffled me. The public education system seems to be expensive babysitting for the future skilled labour force of each island nation. The private education systems seems to be directed towards boarding school and/or college prep overseas.

    Maybe the government should reward promising individual students in the public system with the tuition to be educated in the private system. I think the words are “academic scholarship” Please note that athletic achievements have nothing to do with scholarship.

    • Already Happening says:

      Scholarships are already offered at Cedar.
      The private schools are obviously struggling post-hurricane. They still had to pay their teachers whilst receiving no tuition fees to cover these costs. Don’t forget that if their is nowhere for the children of expats to be educated (they cannot be placed in the public system), these same people who buy groceries, pay rent, generate employment, will have no choice but to leave. Well said Mr. Farara.

      • Retired says:

        Thanks for the reply but you missed the point. I am suggesting that the BVI government award scholarships to promising individual students in the BVI public schools so the student can enter the private education system. If the promising student wants to attend Cedar than fine. If the student wants to attend Antilles in St. Thomas or Country Day in St. Croix or a private school in San Juan, PR then fine.
        There are lots of accredited private schools within 60 miles of Road Town. Lots of expat families enrolled their children in these schools during the 20th and 21st centuries. Expat families do not have to leave the BVI because of a lack of private schools in the northeastern Caribbean.

      • Guest says:

        Maybe if they leave some of companies who prefer to hire expats rather than train locals or people of color will be forced to train locals to do the same job they are doing.

  15. ReX FeRaL says:

    Come on Jerry. When government subsidize these private schools and then they want to do what they want when asked to put an additional year in school. Hmmm. You were one advocating against the extra year at St. Georges where you are a part and parcel of the Administration/trustees of that institution. Get real token.

  16. Diplomat says:

    Government is struggling to support public schools with tax payer funding. Public schools should be taken care of before any consideration is given to supporting private schools. Using taxpayer resources to support private schools takes away much needed resources from public schools. Taxpayers will be supporting private schools yet the majority of them cannot afford to send their children to private schools.

    Sending children to private schools is a choice parents make. Understand that parents who send their children to private schools are taxpayers too and private schools graduates contribute to nation building, but the playing field is not even. Private school children can attend public schools if they so desire at no additional cost. Conversely, most public schools children cannot attend private schools without incurring additional cost, if their parents can afford the cost. Is the tuition set too keep the rift raft out.

    Furthermore, I’m not too politically correct or diplomatic despite my handle. It’s my view that some private schools exist so that some children do not mingle with the so called rift raft, the under class. They (schools) grudgingly accept children from the majority population. The BVI is evolving into both race and class segments, ie, Black vs Anglo, rich vs poor, expats vs local, elite vs non-elite, local vs local……..etc.

    Further, I only know of learned jurist and do not know him so I will asked the question if he were not affiliated with St.Georges’ School would he be advocating so aggressively for government funding private school? Just asking the ??? Others can weigh in put me straight. Is the learned jurist also a fierce advocate for the forgotten, the down trodden? Is he standing for election? If no why not?

    • RealPol says:

      @Diplomat, you keeping real. You are raw. You cut loose on racial and class issues that many only whisper about in back rooms in private. The BVI is quickly blossoming into a nation of have and have nots, Black and White. Some of us are embarrassed that we lots of melanin in our kin. What ah ting. Be proud of who you are. Willie Lynch and others of his ilk influence was/is really strong. Land crabs in an empty kerosene pan. Sad.

    • Wellsah says:

      You are simply wrong. Expat kids cannot attend local schools. Further, the local schools are so far below international standards, it would not be a viable option even if they were allowed.

      The private schools like cedar and St. George’s and Montessori are all multi-cultural and happily so. The kids do not seem to have been taught the virulent racial hatred that propounds so much in the adult local population. They are kids. They go to learn and play and are taught discipline and respect.

      We need better schools throughout. More integration is going to help as well. Even if it has to start with sports. There school be more competition amongst the schools and all of the schools need to import a high standard of teacher and courses if the BVI is not going to be held back. If we had a higher number of well educated youth, of course fewer expatriates would be required as well (even though we could do with growing our population and economy as well).

      Many have left or are in the process of leaving with school standards being one of the primary concerns. The kids education is just not up to scratch. They have been forced away through homelessness and now realize that while also expensive, the BVI school just are not delivering and top students here are below average elsewhere. If we invest to put the education system to the forefront like Singapore and other nations have done, we will all thrive irrespective of who the grandparents are or what the kid looks like or which school they went to and that can only be a good thing.

      • Diplomat says:

        @ Wellsah, you still in my view have not made the case why government should fund private schools with taxpayer dollars. Still advocate that taxpayer dollars should be expended on public schools to improve them and get them up to at least International standards that you say is lacking before supporting private schools. Is it true that expat children cannot attend public schools? So the public schools are bursting at the seams with only Virgin Islanders children? Do not think so. Let’s not peddle in alternative facts.

        Agree that Singapore, a small, 270 square mile island nation in the China Sea, is consistently a leader in educational achievement and is a great model to emulate. Further, Singapore is also an Asian Tiger and a competitive economic power house. Several years ago another blogger posted an article on the Singapore miracle perhaps it can be dusted off re-posted.

  17. Bvi says:

    Envy and jealousy is so rampant in the VI it ain’t funny. The private schools educate just like every other school preparing and producing our leaders of tomorrow. And to booth in a less stifling and less vulnerable environment. The government is mandated to ensure that every child in bvi gets an education. So YES all schools should be subsidized.
    Every public school child is educated on all our taxes so all our taxes should work for all our children

  18. duck1951 says:

    I am in favor of very low interest loans to private schools . but to fund them ? No ! what typically happens is you will see a big separation between the haves and the have nots . I say improve your public schools and above all pay your teachers better .

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