0

Schools Should Not Turn Away Any Child

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

EDUCATION Director Marcellus Taylor yesterday reaffirmed the government’s policy to register all school-aged children regardless of legal status.

Mr Taylor was asked to respond to a statement by human rights group Rights Bahamas (RB), which alleged “certain public schools” continued to demand proof of status from students seeking to register.

Dawrin Thompson, chair of RB’s Education Committee, had sounded the alarm on two schools in May and has warned the organisation would pursue legal action if any child is barred from starting the new school year.

“Every child that is presently living in the Bahamas, regardless of their status, their parent’s status, or their nationality, has the right to an education. There are no exceptions to this. Education is a fundamental human right and we intend to hold those that breach this right responsible,” Mr Thompson stated yesterday.

“We call upon all schools in the Bahamas to cease and desist demanding proof of status at registration immediately. We also call upon the Department of Education to uphold their minister’s stated policy, the laws of the Bahamas and the international agreements to which our country is signatory.

“The new school year is upon us and if this problem is not rectified, it could result in many children being unable to register in time for class. That cannot be allowed to happen. If the situation is not rectified immediately, Rights Bahamas will have no choice but to take legal action against the government in defence of the fundamental rights of these children.”

When contacted by The Tribune, Mr Taylor said the only complaint he received in the matter had come from Rights Bahamas in May.

At that time, the group alleged CV Bethel Senior High School and DW Davis Junior High School had notified parents that student applications must be accompanied with proof of residency or citizenship.

“We have spoken to those schools and it shouldn’t be an issue now,” Mr Taylor said.

“Our policy is clear that any child who is of school age who presents himself is supposed to be registered.”

Mr Taylor confirmed schools only require valid identification, which could be a passport, birth certificate or national insurance card.

“If they are from another country, then a valid ID from that country is fine,” he added.

“The only thing is we need to know who the person is who is registering. You can’t show up with no ID, you have to bring something because we have to properly identify but the policy is anyone who resides here ordinarily in the Bahamas and are of school-age should be registered.”

He added: “If Rights Bahamas or any individual is having a problem with that then all they have to do is write us, or go to district superintendents office in the appropriate area and the matter would be addressed.”

Comments

sheeprunner12 1 month, 1 week ago

When is this Director going to present a plan for national education reform????

Or does he need to wait until the dinosaur (stuck in the 60s) Minister get over his beauty sleep?

Every public school has a registration form that demands that parents' and child's records be presented upon registration at K-1 or upon transfer to another school ...... why the outcry.

And what about those (public) schools that still do "placement exams"???? ...... like Common Entrance.

0

geostorm 1 month, 1 week ago

NO government issued ID, no registration. Tell Rights Bahamas to get a life! This is the one time that I can say, I miss the Christie administration. Fred Mitchell (Immigration) and Jerome Fitzgerald (Education) would have surely addressed this to the benefit of the Bahamian people.

0

DDK 1 month, 1 week ago

Identification for school registration is one thing.

The other - if the laws of the Bahamas and the international agreements to which our country is signatory are such the every child on our soil must be educated at the cost of The People, perhaps it is time the law and the international agreement be changed as one country should NOT be bound to educate every illegal, stateless or otherwise child that turns up at the public school gate. Times have changed, the economy has changed, and this practice should cease.

0

sheeprunner12 1 month, 1 week ago

What if the situation was reversed????? ....... What if 40,000 Bahamians sought economic refugee status in Haiti and Jamaica??

0

DDK 1 month, 1 week ago

Don't think The People in those countries, struggling to make ends meet, would like it one tiny bit! They certainly don't like it in Europe.

0

hrysippus 1 month, 1 week ago

This will be happening within 20 years as the sea levels rise. It will be fair comeback when our children are hunted through the bush with dogs like Loftus taught them to.

1

Alex_Charles 1 month, 1 week ago

perhaps longer than 20 years, but yes it is said that within the century the Bahamas will be up to 80% underwater. Our time may indeed come to be refugees, even the Americans have taken notice.

0

licks2 1 month, 1 week ago

Don't listen to Mr. Thompson ignorant rants! He is too smart of a person to tell such nonsense out of his mouth!! That subject is too wide and complicated for him to understand. . .especially with the immigration chip on his shoulder!! RB . . .they need to educate their officers better . . . ignorant declarations don't help people none! That anti-law and order statement made by Mr. Thompson make me wonder if he actually said that to the reporter or as they wont to do. . .make up their own editorial rather report accurate quotes from persons. . .the Miguel I know is Smarter than that. . .

1

licks2 1 month, 1 week ago

No one nowhere in this world can enter any country illegally and demand to be placed in a state's school. Our UN compendium of accords that governs each state is more that just the Rights of the Child. . .THERE ARE 25 IN ALL. . .many over lapping and have many derogation, reservations and exceptions! Rights Bahamas seem not teach its members any sense of how international courts. . .one of the accords work when it comes to the rights of states to make laws to protects its borders!! I am surprise that Miguel is acting the fool when I know he is a very sharp young man. . . he knows the rules of education in this nation. . .he came here from the DR with his mother and had to go through the system. . .meeting all the requirements as any other non-Bahamian who comes here! He met all the requirements and was educated by the government. . .

1

Alex_Charles 1 month, 1 week ago

With Louby being in the group you expect any better? Ask him anything about human rights that ha nothing to do with Haitians, he'll either refuse to answer or give a stupid answer.

0

Sign in to comment