Parents preparing to take action against Education Ministry

Scores of parents and concerned members of the public gathered at Trevor’s Way, Princess Alice Highway, St Michael on Saturday morning to protest against the controversial pre-test questionnaire which was recently administered to 733 first form students across six secondary schools on the island.

Amongst the protestors was attorney-at-law Corey Beckles, retired educator/trade unionist Undene Whittaker and social activists Felicia Dujon and Winston Clarke.

The latter, wearing a shirt saying ‘I WILL NEVER STOP SPEAKING OUT!’ was extremely vocal about the consequences of the quiz.

He said there was deception from the start.

“They advertised it as a Computer Science test when really and truly it was a survey. What came to my attention lately is that children from one school were told that if they do not complete the survey, they would be suspended. I have that from a parent,” Clarke said.

“This is something that I know a lot of people would feel angst and angry about. What the parents have decided to do is file a class action suit . . .”

He added: “There is enough rhetoric, people asking for answers, we don’t want answers anymore. They did it. Somebody must in some way pay for what was done.”

Lawyers arrived during the meeting to offer their consultation to the parents that gathered. The meeting was overseen by four police officers and no placards or signs were allowed.

The questionnaire was administered by the Inter-American Development Bank and asked some “inappropriate” questions which the Ministry of Education said should have been removed.

In the wake of the public outcry, both the Minister of Education and the Chief Education Officer, as well as the IDB, issued apologies to the nation.  (JC)

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