Hon. Anthony Boatswain
Minister of Education
Ministry of Education
Just before the 2008 general election the St. Patrick Multi Purpose Training Centre was transferred to the T. A. Marryshow Community College. You were the M.P. for the constituency then. That was regrettable a tragic mistake. Technical education St Patrick then took a nose dive and has since been going downwards.
This noble Institution (SPMTS) from its inception catered for both students who were academically inclined and those who were more skills oriented. This included the students who did not enter secondary schools, those who dropped out of secondary schools and those who completed secondary school with their CXC.
The programme was so successful that the Institution received enviable eyes. It was alleged that students from this school were not second to other more reputable institutions in Grenada with reference particular to skills. When the school was offered to TAMCC it seems as though it got the opportunity it wanted to simply, “get rid of an opponent.”
TAMCC received an institution that was well regarded nationally and instead of building on what was already there to bring quality education (academics and skills) to rural Grenada they simply made a fool of themselves and at the same time exposed their inability to manage.
Multipurpose as it is affectionately called offered approximately eight different skills and was about to introduce more skills when the transfer was made. Presently only four skills are offered at the institution. The students who graduated from the SPMTC were very well respected and sought out by employers. The situation is reverse today. During the period of the SPMTC the school was filled to capacity. Presently it is virtually empty.
The fee under the SPMTC was $75.00 per semester. ($225.00 yearly) It gave everyone- poor, vulnerable and marginalised the opportunity to obtain a skill at a reasonable cost; thereby assisting to eradicate poverty in the rural economy.
Under the TAMCC the fees escalated to over$600.00 yearly eliminating the poor and vulnerable from learning a skill. SPMTC also teamed up with other social partners to provide evening classes for adults who wanted to learn a skill. This no longer exist.
Under SPMTC the school was not a financial burden to government. There was regular fun raising activities. Presently the school is a financial burden to government. Management depends on school fees and government subvention to operate the school.
When you were assigned to the Ministry of Education it was not Hon. Keith Mitchell who sent you there. It was God who gave you the opportunity to fulfill a promise you made during your election campaign and to correct the mistake that was made in 2008 but like many other persons I am very disappointed that you did not return the institution to the SPMTC in the first one hundred days in office.
This is not difficult to do because the salaries for staff are paid by government and the building is owned by the Government of Grenada. It is the hope of the residents of St Patrick that when the new school year arrives in September 2013 that will become a reality.