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School Permit Policy 'Effectively Rescinded'

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Financial Services, Trade and Industry Minister Brent Symonette.

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

WHILE there has not yet been an official notice circulated by the Cabinet, Immigration Minister Brent Symonette yesterday insisted that the school permit policy has been effectively rescinded.

Mr Symonette told The Tribune that school officials across the Bahamas have been told not to deny access to children that do not have the special permit.

“Any person that has been denied access to register because they do not have a school permit should contact my office directly,” he said.

“We’ve spoken to all the schools, no one is to be denied access to school.”

The existing policy mandates that every foreign person enrolled in schools, including children born in The Bahamas to immigrants, must have a student permit.

As a result, Education officials have acknowledged there are children who have been unable to register for school since this aspect of the November 2014 immigration policy took effect for the Fall 2015 school semester.

Last month, officials also acknowledged the policy’s impact on access to education contravenes both Bahamian and International law.

On a radio talk show in September, Education Minister Jeff Lloyd stressed that the impact of the country's immigration policy on public services had the potential of creating "fatal" consequences, and a serious threat to the country's national security.

He pointed to a "decided drop" in school enrolment over the last three years as a guest on Guardian radio talk show Real Talk Live with host Carlton Smith.

Notwithstanding the the critical need to resolve the complex issue of citizenship surrounding persons born in the Bahamas to non-nationals, and illegal immigration challenges, Mr Lloyd said it was unfortunate that some persons were tying the country's immigration laws to children's access to education.

Comments

sheeprunner12 2 years, 10 months ago

This "school permit policy" was never really taken seriously by most school principals anyway ...... that would have led to a depopulation of many public schools ........ Can you imagine doing this at EMR High, Spanish Wells All-Age, Central Abaco Primary, Abaco Central High or in Nassau inner-city schools????????? But .......... when is this lousy ass Minister of Education going to shake up the MOE deadbeat leadership and non--performing schools??????? ......... Every Grade 10-12 student should be made to do mandatory RBDF Rangers training, so there won't be a school discipline problem.

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DDK 2 years, 10 months ago

The Bahamas can barely educate its own without taking on thousands from other nations. This may be an international policy but the times they are a changing.

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bogart 2 years, 10 months ago

While the Bahamas govt Minisrty says all children entitled to an education the other govt dept says that children belong to their illegal migrant parents who will be deported as they have broken the Constitutional laws of the country. It is double talk policies like these which confuse and encourage illegal migration where the illegal parent must survive with help and by perfected underground means illegal shanty towns etc to cleverly hide them from Security forces to apprehend them. Children costs money to raise, parents to teach values, broughtupsy, happy livrs, ask any parent. Just like the Elian Gonzalvez Cuban boyno matter his nationality, he belongs to his parent.

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killemwitdakno 2 years, 10 months ago

There's nothing confusing bogart , schooling is provided until their parents leave and take them along.

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