Education Minister Anthony Garcia is expressing concern about the registration system for primary schools, which results in parents having to line up in the wee hours of the morning to get registration forms.
The Minister says this must not continue and that all parents and guardian should be given forms.
The following is a statement from the Ministry of Education.
"The Honourable Anthony Garcia, Minister of Education is reiterating his concern over the fact that many parents and guardians are forced to form queues outside schools from as early as 4.00 am in order to access a form that will allow their children to be considered for entry into primary schools.
This, he says has resulted in parents and guardians being stressed and frustrated. This practice has developed because of the limited number of admission forms that are made available to parents by some school principals.
Minister Garcia says he has received numerous complaints from parents and guardians who have been subjected to this indignity, causing unnecessary stress and frustration. Minister Garcia insists that this situation should not be allowed to continue.
He says the Ministry advises that where application forms are required to be completed by parents, these forms should be made available over an extended period, during the months of February and March, during normal working hours, and are available to ALL parents seeking admission to school for their children.
The Ministry of Education has issued a circular memorandum to principals of all primary schools outlining the following:
Admission lists must be posted at the school and parents must be notified by May 15th each year. Principals are also required to notify parents who are unsuccessful in securing a place for their children of the reason/s for non-acceptance.
* Residence in the catchment area (3 km) of the school is the first criterion for admission and refusal to admit is permissible only on grounds of overcrowding;
* When the number of applicants exceeds the number of spaces available, priority is to be given to applicants residing in the catchment area of the school and on the age of the child with older children receiving preference.
* Children shall be admitted to primary school not earlier than the first day of the term in which they attain their fifth birthday;
* Parents are also reminded that no registration fee or contribution is to be a condition for acceptance of a child into a public school."