From left, Acting Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Senator Lucille Moe; Permanent Secretary, Janet Phillips; and Parliamentary Secretary, Dr. Romel Springer at Friday’s orientation. (GP)

Members of the new Boards of Management of public secondary schools have been briefed on the gravity of the role they will play in the management of the island’s schools, during an orientation session held by the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training today.

Representatives of all secondary school boards were present at the all-day session, which was held in the auditorium of the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College, Pine Road, St. Michael.

Acting Minister of Education, Senator Lucille Moe, commended the Ministry for hosting the orientation, which outlined the roles and responsibilities and what was expected of the newly appointed boards.

“Too often, we appoint persons to boards, present them with their official instruments of appointment and the requisite legislation and assume they can manage the entity that they have been assigned to without providing them with the required knowledge for the task. All members here have been selected because of your own competencies in the various areas. I am aware that CTUSAB and the schools’ PTAs will also have a nominee on the boards to give guidance on industrial matters and represent the parent bodies respectively,” she told those in attendance.

Senator Moe also urged the board members to incorporate core values, integrity and excellence to service when executing their duties. She pointed out that the Chief Education Officer will have a representative on all of the boards, who will be there to “give guidance and to ensure that you adhere to the policies of the Ministry of Education”.

The Acting Minister of Education explained that as members of school boards, they would also have to familiarise themselves with the regulations that governed their operations. “Within the Education Act and Education Regulations, you will find the constitution, procedures, functions and responsibilities of boards of management. You are free to devise your own standing orders for the conduct of your business.

“I will take this opportunity to remind you that you are responsible to the Ministry of Education for the management, operation and maintenance of the schools to which you have been assigned. You are also responsible and accountable for the monies voted in Parliament that will be entrusted to you to manage these schools,” the Acting Minister stated, adding that the Ministry was looking forward to a productive working relationship with the new boards.

Chief Education Officer, Karen Best, said she welcomed the opportunity, the first in her tenure as Chief, to brief the new boards before they got to work.

“I have never had the privilege of going through the Education Act, your roles and responsibilities; and finances [with the new Boards of Management]. You are going to learn a lot and when you leave here you still have to learn because we can’t give you everything. What we are going to do is to provide you with the tools for you to carry out your job,” she said.

Each board member was given packages to guide them in their new duties including, the Handbook for the Information and Guidance for Boards of Management; the Education Act and Regulations CAP 41; the Public Service Act CAP 29; and the Financial Management and Audit Act (Financial Rules 2011).

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