Education Minister Anthony Garcia has advised protesting parents of the San Fernando Methodist Primary School that the assistance being requested for the removal of a teacher at the school is the responsibility of the Teaching Service Commission (TSC).
In a statement issued the by the Ministry, the Minister reiterated that the responsibilities of the Ministry and that of the TSC differ and must not be confused to ensure that transparency is maintained in all matters.
The statement notes that the Teaching Service Commission, established under Service Commissions in the Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago declares at section 125 “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, power to appoint persons to hold or act in public offices in the Teaching Service established under the Education Act, including power to make appointments on promotion and transfer and to confirm appointments, and to remove and exercise disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in such offices and to enforce standards of conduct on such officers shall vest in the Teaching Service Commission.”
It notes that additionally, as a Denominational School, the San Fernando Methodist Primary School’s Parent Teacher Association must adhere to the Concordat of 1960 which indicates that “The right of appointment, retention, promotion, transfer and dismissal of teachers in Primary Schools will rest with the Public Service Commission. A teacher shall not be appointed to a school if the denominational board objects to such an appointment on moral or religious grounds. Similarly, if a teacher be found unsatisfactory on these very grounds, moral or religious, the denominational authority shall have the right to request his removal to another school after due investigation. For these reasons it is proposed (provided the legal and constitutional arrangements allow) "that vacancies as they occur in all schools should be advertised and applications submitted in the first instance to the respective Board of management which will examine them and forward them all, with their recommendations, to the Public Service Commission for final action."
The statement says that Minister Garcia has affirmed that he will continue to aid all stakeholders in any way possible and will schedule a meeting with the PTA early next week.