Once Venezuelan parents follow the guidelines of the Ministry of Education, their children will be accepted at all Anglican schools in TT, says Anglican Bishop Rev Claude Berkeley.
Speaking with Newsday yesterday, Berkeley said although there has not been any intake of Venezuelans students at Anglican schools, several churches have been assisting in Tobago, Siparia, La Romaine, Diego Martin, among other areas.
“Not long ago, there was an intervention by the ministry. People were complaining that they could not get their children into certain schools. Back then the ministry issued some strong guidelines as to what should happened. Now we are collaborators in education, therefore we will want to work together as much as it is possible for the common good.
“At present, the Venezuelan situation is an additional extra which was not in the mix when we had the debate about the procedures for entry.
“This is the kind of engagement we are currently working on at the moment, but we have no outright objection because the children also need education.”
Berkeley said there were specific guidelines which the ministry issued and once those who are seeking places adhere to those guidelines, the church’s schools will respond.
However, he said there was no separate plan for Venezuelan students, apart from what the system now offers.
“We always have a long list of children to be received into schools as people try to move from one location to another. If the children of Venezuelan nationality are in those categories, they will be received.”
“At the moment there is not a clear picture of what the churches are allowed to do given the ministry’s guidelines. The churches have been helping children. But on the question of placement in schools, there are guidelines for that type of intake.”
Berkeley said some groups are placing Venezuelan students in their homework centres. He said the centres were not under the ministry’s purview and that option was being looked at by the Anglican Board.