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Careful when it comes to education

Jun 16,2014 - Last updated at Jun 16,2014

The Private School Association and the Ministry of Education disagree over the new ministry regulations governing private schools.

The two sides are at loggerheads over several issues, among which the fees private schools charge students and the number of students in classes.

The association has threatened to boycott the ministry if it does not stop meddling in what it claims to be its domain, over which it can exercise its prerogative.

While the association may have some legitimate claims and objections to the new regulations, threatening to cease dealing with the government is clearly not an option, nor the right thing to do.

The association has no choice but to coordinate with the ministry, since private schools are part of the national education system and, as such, the government has a say in how these schools are run, of course as long as its say is fair.

Given the differences between the two sides, the ministry and the association must engage in a meaningful dialogue. That could be done through a committee composed of representatives of the two sides who could discuss with a view to arriving at reasonable compromises.

The disagreement, after all, goes further than the two entities. It is bound to affect children’s education, and such a serious thing cannot be allowed to happen.

While the association needs to refrain from making threats to end cooperation with the ministry, the latter must remain open-minded to the idea of finding compromises to enable private schools to continue shouldering their responsibility to educate.

If needed, they could resort to professional, impartial arbitration.

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