Categorized | National News

Education Continues for Migrant Children

Minister of Education Jeffery Lloyd set the record straight last Thursday as he explained that the issue of immigration is handled by the Department of Immigration and not his ministry.

He reiterated that the Ministry of Education ensures the education of all children despite their immigration status.

“Our responsibility in the Ministry of Education in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, but certainly the Ministry of Education, is a child that is presented to our institution is registered.  As long as we know who that child is, of course, there has to be some proof of identity and who the parents are and where the child lives,” Lloyd said.

“The issue of immigration is dealt by the Department of Immigration.” 

He said the country has signed treaties that ensure all children in The Bahamas have access to education.

“We have been signatories to a number of treaties in regard to the education of children in our country.  It is the law of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, the Education Act, that all children between certain ages, five and 16 are to be in a school,” Lloyd said.

“If you are a resident in this country, you are to be in school. That’s our job to see that those children present themselves, we can verify that they in fact have identity, their parents have identity and they are resident of in this country. Then we accept them into schools.” 

Illegal immigration has become a hot button topic in recent days since Prime Minster Dr. Hubert Minnis announced the government’s aggressive approach to the long-standing issue that has affected the country for many years.

On Wednesday, in the House of Assembly, Minnis said he gave Immigration Minister Elsworth Johnson instructions to form a “strike force” to pursue undocumented migrants in the country.

The next day, Johnson said he backed the prime minister’s position and explained that the issue had placed a burden on the educational and health facilities.

He said he believed the prime minister is not being xenophobic and added that there were no more space in Bahamian schools and there is no more money to build more schools.

Johnson said if migrants come to the country, they must say how they’re going to educate their children because The Bahamas already has the expense of educating Bahamian children.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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