As such, Education Minister Anthony Garcia says the planned reform of The Education Concordat of 1960 (The Concordat) would ideally include measures to “strengthen the role of the Church”. “We have looked at The Concordat to see how best we can make (it) more effective, so that the Church can recognise its responsibilities.
I’ve been saying publicly that if the Church, through the (school) boards, owned the schools, they would have a corresponding responsibility to the schools.” Garcia added that giving religious bodies more say would put an end to some groups, “sitting back and saying, ‘We don’t own the schools’ and doing nothing.” “Therefore we are hoping, in the reform of The Concordat, (to) put measures in place to ensure that the Church plays its role more effectively and in many areas.
For example, repairs and maintenance, (and) construction of schools __ The Church must not leave that only up to the Government.
They must play their part.” The Education Minister made it clear that “there is absolutely no intention of diminishing the role of the Church.” “There’s absolutely no intention of separating religion or the influence of the Church in education.
We are very pleased and satisfied with our system of education, except to say that we recognise that the Church can play a more effective role.” Garcia reiterated his stance on denominational schools during a press conference about the recommendations contained in a report on the Education Ministry’s February 2016 “National Consultation on Education”.
The press conference was held on Thursday afternoon at the ministry’s head office, St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain.
“One of the major recommendations (in the report) that was accepted by Cabinet, was that the role of the Church should be strengthened...Cabinet has agreed that the Church should continue in its role in education and we will put things in place to strengthen its role,” Garcia told reporters