Please note press release in last week's "Anguillian," page 18, in which Chief Minister Osborne Fleming reports on his attending the Overseas Territories Consultative Council. The dates of this meeting were 21 and 22 November 2006.
Mr. Fleming claims that the tuition issue was raised during the meeting and Lord Triesman promised to consider the matter. The CM's press release leads us to believe that now, seven months later, Lord Triesman has agreed to this proposal. These statements are at variance with the truth.
Having studied yourself in
If we had a Minister Responsible for Education who didn't think he was Minister of Sports, whose obligations to his family in America is greater than those to the people such as myself who stupidly voted for him, he would have been on the radio and in the newspaper seven months ago encouraging Anguillians, especially those overseas, to take advantage of this very important initiative. Mr. Fleming states he will keep the public informed about this matter. Why does he have a Minister for Education and what is this person's function?
The truth about this matter is revealed in the official press release issued by HMG on the first day of the meeting Mr. Fleming attended in November. A considerable amount of additional detail has since been made available, including how to qualify for interest-free loans for all college expenses. While widely available in other OTs, this information is a State Secret in
Our Education Minister has failed us, and our Chief Minister is lying about this vital tuition matter.
Not sure what to make of this, I sent her back the following enquiry:
I'm lost. What makes you think that the education officials have not been assisting hundreds of students to take up the offer? What does a mere politician such as the Minister have to do with the administrative procedures of scholarships? Surely, students do not deal with politicians such as Evans McNeil Rogers. They deal with Rhonda Connor and the Education Department.
I am lost as to what exactly you think has gone wrong. Is there any evidence that Anguillian students have missed out on this initiative?
She responded as follows:
I don't know what education officials have been doing about this initiative with ALHCS students. Things are generally a mess there, but I have no information on this point.
I'm sure they have made no effort to reach former students who have graduated and wish they could afford to go to college. The obvious way to reach them and their families is through the media. If we search anguillian.com for the word "tuition" we get only one hit, having to do with the tennis academy.
I'm even more sure they have made no effort to reach the many young people who are living and working in the
It would surprise me greatly if any young Anguillians struggling away in the USVI or freezing on the East Coast were aware of this initiative. The incremental cost of sending an announcement to "The Anguillian" is zero.
You ask what politicians have to do with administrative procedures of scholarships. In our corrupt society, it’s them that approve them. It's more economically efficient to use public funds to pay for scholarships than private, brown bag cash to pay for refrigerators.
Anyway, there are no scholarships involved here. I discovered that all
Still not clear what the Education Department had been doing to help our children with overseas scholarships and further education, I decided to send this correspondence to the Chief Education Officer, Rhonda Connor. She responded with the following clarification:
Education/training for students at college and/or university level is not handled by the Department of Education; but rather the Department of Public Administration. They process all Government funding for student scholarships.
I am aware that Department of Public Administration encourages students to study in the
I assume that the person is referring to this reduction in tuition cost, as I am not aware of any form of free education for Anguillian students.
This correspondence raises important issues. Have your children who have finished High School been given adequate information about scholarships in the
What is clear is that tertiary education in the
It is also now clear that neither the Minister of Education nor the Education Department has anything to do with scholarships for Anguillian children. That is all handled by the Public Administration Department. So, it was not fair to have blamed the Minister for the delay in publicizing the subsidized further education available to Anguillian students.
The correspondence does raise one curious question. The principal responsibility of the Public Administration Department in
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