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Apr 17, 2018

Education Minister Insists Alifa Elrington is Needed at Gwen Liz

Patrick Faber

This afternoon, Education Minister Patrick Faber told reporters that he was scheduled to meet with the teachers later on. He insists that as Collet area representative and education chief, he has tried to stay out of the school’s business. But in this case, he is willing to stand up for the former city councilor on the basis that she should not be removed while the disciplinary process against Doctor McKay is ongoing.

 

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“Miss Alifa was presiding as chair – the chair isn’t put there by the Ministry; the chair is elected from among the members of the board, who are selected according to the Education Rules. Miss Alifa became the chair, and was presiding over the matter concerning Doctor McKay. Where the politics came in, if there was any politics being played, is that upon the municipal elections being concluded, there was seemingly a quick push on the part of the Opposition to quickly name a new representative and get Miss Alifa kicked out. That, I will tell you, posed a problem for the school, because we are in the middle of trying to resolve the matter of Principal McKay. And that is why for us, as the proprietor of the school – the Board is the managing authority, but we have representation on the Board – to try to keep Miss Alifa there until the matter is resolved. The community rep of the Board is selected by the principal, after consultation, but it comes from the community there, which is the Collet community. We have been the entity – my office, the Collet Education and Resource Center – that the principal has consulted in order to name a representative. I see in the teachers’ letter that they write about Miss Alifa not living in the area – well, you can select anybody to be your representative; the community’s representative does not have to reside in the area, but has to look out for the interests of those who are from the area. And so in order for the work to go on unimpeded, and in fact to have us resolve the matter of the Principal in an expeditious way, because the school is in limbo when you can’t move head or tail when you are in this situation that as you know has been going on for a while now. This is why, as the community representative, as the person responsible for the community consultation with the principal, we asked that Miss Alifa be allowed to represent the community to finish the work. And this is what I will say to the teachers when I get there in a little while: there is no attempt on our part – and I am speaking for the Ministry, and even from the area rep position now – there is no attempt to interfere politically with Gwen Liz. If I had wanted to do so, I would have done so years ago.”

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