Charlestown—Nevis–The Education Department on Nevis is in the process of ensuring that the previously established zoning policies as it relates to the placement of the students on the island, into the various schools, are adhered to.
Education officer, Mr. Lawrence Richards, in speaking to the media on Thursday 11th June, indicated that the zoning principles have been established for many years now. However, for some unknown reason, deviations have been made.
Efforts are now being made to ensure that the said principles are followed.
He explained that the basic rule of thumb is that the child would attend the school that is closest to his/her place of residence.
This extends across the board to Pre schools, Primary schools and Secondary schools.
Naturally, such principles cannot be applied in the case of the PRIVATE schools, because these are the specific choices of the parents involved.
Children will not be placed, based on place of work of the parents, personal preference, place of residence of grand parent or uncle or aunt, or non custodial parents or other relatives.
Going forward, strict guidelines will be applied for the parents to enroll the children in the public school assigned, based on the child’s current address.
Consideration will not even be given to whether or not; the school preferred by the parent is more accessible to the bus route, even if it proves more convenient.
Parents have no choice in the matter whether, the school has a good or bad reputation; the best or the worst teachers; has the best or the worst athletic team; or whether the school does well or does poorly.
The basic rule of thumb will always take precedence: The child will be enrolled into the public school that is closest to his/her place of residence.
The zoning principles effectively follow principles applied in such cases as pre natal and toddlers’ clinics; census enumeration districts and electoral districts.
However, Richards further pointed out that TEACHERS are granted a welcomed exception to the general rule. They will have the choice of taking their OWN child/children to the school where they are teaching.
The TEACHER PRIVILEGE will only last for the duration of time that the Teacher works at the particular school.
Where there are cases of overcrowding which make it impossible to register children at particular schools, in keeping with the established principles, the Education Ministry/Department may grant exceptions in writing, for children to attend alternative schools.
Lawrence is seeking the understanding and cooperation of the general public as the Educators seek to rectify this matter, once and for all.