Government uncomfortable issuing private school permits after institution is set up

Emmalin Pierre

by Linda Straker

  • More than 100 private learning institutions throughout Grenada
  • Many private institutions functioning in direct conflict with the Education Act
  • Private educational institutions must have a permit as per section 73 of the legislation

Education Minister Emmalin Pierre said that government is most uncomfortable accommodating persons who are not following the rules and guidelines established in law for operating all levels of private learning institutions.

“The Education Act states very clearly to set up a private learning education centre, permission must be granted from the Minister of Education in advance,” she told members of the House of Representatives during last week’s sitting.

Informing members of the latest development, Pierre said, “I have received a request to sign a permit, but I want to say publicly that the Government of Grenada is very uncomfortable with any person who chooses to set up an institution and then seeks a permit to operate.” Members showed their approval by knocking the table.

Pierre did not name the institution seeking permission but explained that the Education Act which provides the requires guidelines and rules for education in Grenada is extremely clear: “You need to seek permission first.”

The Ministry of Education has since confirmed via a news release that many private institutions in Grenada are currently functioning without a permit approved by the Minister for Education and this is in direct conflict with what the Education Act mandates. There are more than 100 private learning institutions throughout Grenada offering from pre-school to tertiary education, as well as special education.

According to the 2002 Education Act, no person may operate a private educational institution to which this act applies unless he or she is the holder of a permit issued by the minister for the institution and for the educational services or categories of educational services as mentioned in section 73 of the legislation.

  1. Application of Act

(1)  This Division applies to every private educational institution providing all or some of the following educational services—

(a) early childhood educational services (pre-primary education);

(b) primary education;

(c) special education;

(d) secondary education;

(e) secondary level adult education services in vocational education;

(f) secondary level instructional services in vocational education;

(g) instructional services in general education at the tertiary level;

(h) instructional services in vocational training at the tertiary level.

(2)  Subsection (1)(a) to (e) and (g) refer to object education or instruction which is intended mainly to develop students’ abilities so as to prepare them for studies at the primary, secondary, post secondary, tertiary or university level as the case may be.

(3)  Subsection (1)(f) and (h) refer to vocational education or training which is intended mainly to develop students’ abilities so as to prepare them for an occupation, trade or profession.

  1. Requirement for a permit

(1)  No person may operate a private educational institution to which this Act applies unless he or she is the holder of a permit issued by the Minister for the institution and for the educational services or categories of educational service mentioned in section 73.

(2)  A person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence.

A person who contravenes commits an offence and the penalty is a fine of $1,000 and imprisonment for 6 months, and in the case of a continuing offence a further fine of $200 for each day during which the offence continues after the first conviction.

The legislation describes private educational institutions, as the term “private educational institution” or “private school.”

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