Opposition Spokesman on Education, Reverend Ronald Thwaites, is urging Education Minister, Ruel Reid, to proceed with caution regarding the subsuming of the National Council on Education, NCE.
Minister Reid confirmed to Parliament’s Standing Finance Committee this afternoon that the entity is to be brought directly under the Ministry with its staff used to support other areas.
Reverend Thwaites warned against the action despite the Minister’s insistence that the NCE’s core function would not be compromised.
Minister Reid told the Standing Finance Committee that NCE is to be subsumed by the larger Ministry.
He says the decision made by Cabinet is part of the government’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund, IMF, to reduce the number of public bodies.
The NCE was formed as an independent body which advises on education policy and appoints school boards. This is the same entity to which Minister Reid has referred his now controversial educators’ political code of conduct for review.
The code of conduct among other things restricts educators who are politically active from criticizing the Education Minister and Ministry policies.
Opposition Spokesman on Education, Reverend Ronald Thwaites gave the Minister a stern warning that subsuming the NCE may be a violation of its enabling legislation.
Minister Reid responded that there’s no attempt to stymie the autonomy of the Council. However, Reverend Thwaites, called on him to proceed with caution.