Minister of Education David Andrew has cleared the air on “rumours” circulating in the country for the past two weeks that the school curriculum is being changed to promote LGBT agenda in schools.
Speaking at a sitting of the Upper House of Parliament on Tuesday, Minister Andrew said he found it difficult to comprehend the recent rumours and clarified that there is no plan by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration to change the legislation.
“Within the last two weeks, there has been a lot of chatter about the government allegedly having a plan to introduce an LGBT curriculum in school come September. I want to make it categorically clear to the House that the Ministry of Education, the Government, we have no plan to change the curriculum nor to introduce any such curriculum,” he told fellow legislators.
According to Minister Andrew, he felt that the rumours came about as a result of the confusion that surrounds a particular document called ‘”International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education” which he claimed was first published in 2009 and in which Grenada signed on in 2018.
The New National Party (NNP) of former Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell was in office when Grenada became a signatory to the document.
The senior government minister told the Upper House of Parliament that the document focuses on comprehensive sexual education and made it clear that it is not a curriculum but merely a guidance for teachers.
“If you browse the document you would recognise that it has to be tailored and adapted to suit the culture and the values of the various international communities that you might choose to apply it to,” he said.
Minister Andrew also spoke on the matter of the tuition fees that the government recently allotted money towards.
He explained that the implementation of paid tuition for tertiary education does not take into account minimal charges like registration fees.
The free tuition policy that was approved by the Cabinet only takes into account the tuition fee of $810.00 dollars for each year, he said.
The minister disclosed that the absorbed fee of $810.00 also being offered to NEWLO students will be able to not only cover tuition but will trickle over into other minimal fees due to their tuition price.
“I know there has been much noise in some quarters whether it’s free education or free tuition. It’s free tuition. Now education comes in those settings with several different costs. This policy is one where the government will pay the tuition fees associated with study at TAMCC or NEWLO or any other approved center,” he said.
Minister Andrew went on to say: “We are not saying there are no other fees. You may have to pay registration fees, you may have to pay t-shirts, and other deliverables that you may get. We are not interfering with that at this point but we are happy to bear the load of the $810 tuition fee.”
Minister David Andrew urged the youth who have never been to T.A Marryshow Community College or NEWLO and never had a skill, or gone on to improve their educational attainment to go after it.
“So at this point, I want to make an appeal to every young person, every young man, and every young woman from our rural communities in every part of Grenada to embrace this opportunity,” he said.
The senior government minister also expressed his thoughts on talk of the absorbed tuition fee not being adequate and addressing claims that the government should do more to provide financially to those who cannot afford it.
“In some other place, I heard mention that that’s not enough, it’s not enough to remove the 810 dollars because there are other fees. Well, I say in some other place, there were several years of opportunity to provide all that was needed but that didn’t happen in all the ten, fifteen, twenty years,” he said.
This is a clear criticism of the now opposition NNP of Dr. Mitchell that was in charge of the country for most of the past 30 years with the exception of the period from 2008-13.