A definitive decision will be made within the next week on whether to change or keep the ‘additional year’ at public secondary schools.
Education Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley said the decision will be made by June 27 after community meetings are had with members of the public.
“I would like to give the public an opportunity to express their views; particularly parents and students who’ve gone through it and who are about to go through it to share some information so I can have the benefit of their experience and their knowledge before making a decision,” Dr Wheatley stated.
“I’ve been getting a set of useful information from education officers. They have been able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses and, of course, whenever you introduce change, you never get full buy-in. There are always views for and against. But, it is my job to balance the views of the different stakeholders along with my view and make a decision,” he added.
Dr Wheatley also encouraged persons to come out and express their unadulterated views.
“I want persons to be able to speak freely and regardless of what my view was coming in, if there are other views which makes more sense, I will go with the prevailing views. I do not want people to feel as though I have predetermined any decisions because I have not. I am honestly coming to listen to what persons have to say and I will take those views into consideration in my final decision,” the Education Minister added.
The legislator said he will continue to discuss similar matters with the public going forward.
“I think consultation and engagement is important in the ministerial process in ministers making decisions. So that is going to be my style of leadership going forward. The public can expect that I will have regular meetings with them discussing important issues,” Dr Wheatley stated.
The first of the two meetings are scheduled for 6 pm today at the Catholic Community Centre in Virgin Gorda while the second meeting is set for Thursday at Althea Scatliffe Primary School at 6pm.
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