Private schools on the island, not yet re-registered with the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, have been urged to do so.

A representative from the Ministry has disclosed that a number of these institutions have been in contravention of the Education Act Cap. 41, by not re- registering.??

While stressing that registration and re-registration of private schools were mandatory, the spokesperson said many of these schools were failing to re-register even after the Ministry had directed them by way of written correspondence.

The Ministry has, therefore, advised persons interested in establishing new schools in Barbados that, under the law, they are required to be registered; and they must re-register on an annual basis.

??According to the Education Act Cap 41 30A (1): "No person may establish a private school or educational institution in Barbados after August 13, 1990, without prior approval of the Minister." The Act also stipulates that where a school or institution, that made an application, has been inspected, "the Minister shall register the school or institution, as the case may be, if he is satisfied …"????

The Ministry of Education must be satisfied that the premises are suitable for use as a school or institution, and that the accommodation provided is adequate and suitable in respect of the number, ages and sex of the pupils attending the school or institution.

There must also be efficient and suitable instruction provided at the school or institution that is appropriate for the ages and sex of the pupils. Additionally, the proprietor and principal of the school or institution must be "fit and proper persons to be proprietor and principal of a private school or private educational institution", and the school or institution must meet any other prescribed requirements of the Education Ministry.

Proprietors of new private nursery, primary and secondary institutions should obtain an application form for registration from the Ministry at the Elsie Payne Complex, Constitution Road, St. Michael. The completed forms should be accompanied by a certified copies of Site Plans and Floor Plans of the building; a certified copy of a Health Certificate from the Ministry of Health for the current academic year; a certified copy of a Fire Certificate from the Barbados Fire Service for the current academic year; a certificate of registration from the Department of Corporate Affairs; and a copy of the Curriculum.?? Certified copies of certificates of all teaching staff must also be included.

Currently, there are 20 registered private primary schools, nine registered private secondary, and four registered private special schools.

While the Ministry awaits registration and re-registration by private schools, the education official stressed: "it is the Ministry’s role to ensure that children are in a safe, salubrious learning environment."??

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