Gopeesingh: PM should have removed Education Minister

Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - 09:30

Former Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh believes the Cabinet reshuffle was incomplete without the removal of Education Minister Anthony Garcia.

Dr Gopeesingh issued the following response to the Cabinet changes made on Monday.

"Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley must continue his essential Cabinet reshuffle by the removal of the bungling Anthony Garcia as Minister of Education.

Mr. Garcia’s ineptitude is on daily display before the nation and especially students, who are enduring schools in disrepair and a rollback on the many crucial gains during the People’s Partnership’s administration.

The spate of schools in poor condition is a direct result of Mr. Garcia’s inability to provide effective leadership in the repair programme. For the 13 months he has been in office, he has ignored the urgent need for restoration works at several aging buildings.

The People’s Partnership Government had a coordinated programme in which there were more than 5,500 repair and maintenance projects. Mr. Garcia has also abandoned the construction of schools and early childhood care centres.

During the recent budget debate and the meeting of the Parliament’s Standing Finance Committee, he did not indicate any construction projects.

His report card also includes reversal in the computer laptop grant, scrapping of the Continuous Assessment Component, abandonment of After-School Homework Centres, non-provision of new textbooks and sharp cutbacks in the School Feeding programme.

He has also removed significant aspects of physical education and visual performing arts from the SEA curriculum. These subjects were providing invaluable contribution in the development of the fullest potential of students.

Overall, Mr. Garcia’s tenure is characterised by retrograde measures, which will have the effect of stifling students’ education at a time that requires the creation of an innovative, knowledge-based society.

In fact, Mr. Garcia’s rampant incompetence is already hurting the country’s current students, who will have to compete in a modern, globalised economy.

The Prime Minister must arrest the precipitous decline in the education sector by the removal of his Education Minister."