The Director of Education has responded to claims made by a parent that his daughter was “thrown out of primary school without notice.
An article appearing in the Daily Observer on Wednesday 7th September, 2016, headlined ‘Six year old kicked out of school’, detailed the parent’s account that his child, a Five Islands Primary student was “expelled” after being labelled a “slow learner” by school authorities.
According to a release the Ministry through its Director of Education Clare Browne confirmed that no 6 six year-old child was expelled.
In the release the Director outlined that in order for a child to be expelled, a meeting must be held with executives of the Ministry, in accordance with the Education Act of Antigua and Barbuda 2008. He said that it is only the Director who has the authority to do so, and no decision was taken in that regard.
The Ministry of Education is reiterating that every child is entitled to an education as stated in the (Education Act Section. 29) that no child will be refused an education based on colour, race, mental illness, physical handicap or otherwise.
Mr. Browne stated the parent of the 6 year-old was advised to return the student to the Five Islands Primary, pending the outcome of a second assessment as per the request of her father.
An initial evaluation was carried out and among the recommendations was that the pupil be transferred to a neighbouring primary school that has a special programme and is staffed with special education teachers.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology is assuring the public that it makes every effort to ensure students succeed, and is mindful that everyone can learn though not at the same pace.
The release states that as far as the Ministry is concerned, the issue was addressed and dialogue will continue with the parents of the student. The Ministry further indicated further discussions on the 6 year-old will not continue to play out in the public domain.