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Collection: INTERAMER
Number: 35
Year: 1994
Author: Kenny D. Anthony
Title: The Legal Framework of Education in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)

Subsidiary Legislation Presently in Force

Surprisingly, there is little uniformity of approach to the enactment of Subsidiary Regulations among the islands surveyed. No regulations have been enacted in Saint Christopher and Nevis. However, as stated above, the respective Education Acts empower the Minister to enact regulations in specified subjects.143 Apart from Grenada, these powers have not been invoked.

Montserrat

Montserrat too appears to be in a near identical position. Apart from regulations dealing with scholarships144 health145 and the institutions licensed under the Universities & Colleges (Licensing & Control) Ordinance 1980, no other regulations exist.

Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia continues to rely on regulations made under the Education Ordinance.146 These have full force and effect until such time that they are revoked by Regulations made under the extant Education Act.147 The regulations have obviously outlived their usefulness. They are replete with obsolete and discarded terminology. For example, the regulations speak of “probationary assistants,” “pupil teachers,” “certified teachers,”148 categories which are no longer recognized. Certain regulations are blatantly inconsistent with the Education Act and other regulations enacted by the Teaching Service Commission.149 The regulations largely apply to Primary Schools,150 and are hardly ever enforced. Saint Lucian schools operate largely by historical practice rather than the force of these regulations. Happily, efforts are being made to repeal those regulations.

Earlier, mention was made of the Teaching Service Commission Regulations.151 These regulations derive their source of authority from the Teaching Service Commission Act, 1970, and since independence, to the existing law clause152 and section 93 of the Saint Lucia Constitution. Certain of these regulations are in conflict with the Primary School Regulations. For example, the Teaching Service Commission Regulations governing the procedure for appointments to the Saint Lucia Teaching Service, have rendered regulations on the same subject in the Primary School Regulations inconsistent, otiose, and unconstitutional. Other problems inhere in the constitutional vires of certain regulations made by the Teaching Service Commission, but discussion of this matter is beyond the scope of this paper.

Dominica

Many of the comments made in respect of the Saint Lucia Regulations also apply to Dominica. Dominica’s regulations were enacted as early as 1926.153 Consequently, like the Saint Lucia regulations, the provisions utilize outmoded terminology; recognize functionaries, for example, the “Inspector of Schools,” who are no longer in existence; emphasize a curriculum that is based on the “three Rs”; and even prescribe textbooks that are no longer in print.

In 1926 also, Elementary Education (Teachers) Rules were enacted.154 These continue to be in force. They make provisions, inter alia, for inspectors to conduct yearly examination of teachers, pupil teachers of Government-aided schools and the students of training institutions;155 the award of certificates of efficiency; examination of teachers and pupil teachers;156 and the award of studentships.157 Consistent with the spirit of the times, the regulations even stipulated the syllabus and textbooks to be followed by teachers sitting the prescribed examinations.158 The case for repealing these regulations and indeed, the Act from which they derive authority, is compelling.

Grenada and Carriacou

The brevity of the Grenadian Act compelled the enactment of comprehensive and detailed regulations. In consequence, Grenada’s Education Regulations,159 enacted together with the Act, contains 226 provisions. The regulations are divided into 27 parts.160

Arguably, many of the provisions contained in the regulations are better placed in the Act. Regulations are more easily amended, and Parliament does not always exercise the same scrutiny that is exercised in respect of Acts of Parliament. Moreover, some of the provisions of the Regulations may be unconstitutional. For example, Regulations 111 and 112 purport to establish a procedure to be employed by the Public Service Commission for teachers charged with disciplinary offenses. Quite apart from the fact that the Act gave the Minister no power to enact such regulations, it is well established that the Constitution entrusts to the Public Service Commission the power “by regulation or otherwise [to] regulate its own procedure.”161

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua is yet to enact new regulations in accordance with its 1973 Education Act. It appears that the Primary and Post Primary Education Regulations,162 made in 1960 under section 33 of the repealed Education Ordinance,163 continues to be recognized notwithstanding that the 1973 Act did not expressly preserve the regulations until the enactment of new regulations.

Be that as it may, many of the comments made in respect of the Saint Lucia and Dominica Regulations apply to Antigua. Indeed, the introduction of the Public Service Commission has rendered the regulations governing the appointments164 of certain teachers superfluous. Moreover, responsibilities assigned to leading functionaries have been redefined by legislation and practice. So too has the terminology and vocabulary describing personnel within the system. The regulations are extensive. They cover school buildings, management of schools, teachers, qualifications for appointments to the teaching service, grading of teachers, teaching staff, certification of teachers, training colleges for teachers, inservice training of teachers, instruction of probationary teachers or monitors, admission of pupils, hours on instruction, attendance of pupils, school year and vacations, attendance of teachers, religious instruction, discipline of pupils, inspection and report, registers and records, admission registers, attendance registers, probationary teachers’ record books, schemes of work, time table, inventory and stock book, teachers attendance register, and returns and organization of syllabus.

Consistent with the orientation of the regulations enacted in the colonial period, these regulations are regulatory in character and emphasize control and predictability. Arguably, some of the subjects seem better placed in an Act. But that is also true of the regulations of the other islands.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

To date, no new Regulations have been enacted to support the Education Act of Saint Vincent.