The public schools especially the High Schools should not be overcrowded.
Our public schools on the island of Providenciales are overcrowded. Obviously, it is because Providenciales has the largest population. However, there are also many private schools and many individuals particularly locals that make huge sacrifices to have their children in private schools due to the overcrowding of the public schools.
In my opinion, the public schools should not be overcrowded because of the requirement of the Immigration Regulations (2017).
I have nothing against work permit holders or their families because we do need the people in our country to make up the human resources in both the public and private sector. However, we must follow the laws of our country. If work permit holders must show that their children are registered in a private school, then why are the public schools filled with so many children of work permit holders.
Now mind you, there are some work permit holders who have registered their children in public schools, but our public schools are still full of non-Turks and Caicos Islanders.
Why is the Immigration Regulations (2017) not being enforced?
According to the Immigration Regulations (2017), for the endorsement of children, “The applicant/employer has to demonstrate that the employee’s income is sufficient to support him/herself and family in the islands and provide for the registration of the children in a private school.”
The public schools, particularly the primary schools, are overcrowded because of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights agreement that our government signed with United Nations. Article 26 of this agreement basically states that everyone has the right to free education, at least in the primary schools. Therefore, the Government allows children to have free education in primary schools.
Fine, if that is the case, then why are allowing this trend to continue in the secondary schools in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Furthermore, our immigration regulations do not distinguish between primary and secondary. It does not state that the requirement is just for secondary schools. However, I know it is a Catch 22 situation in that there is an agreement for free education at the primary level. Therefore, the Immigration Department does not require work permit holders whose children are in primary school to show evidence that they are registered in a private school. Immigration only does this for work permit holders whose children are for secondary schools.
If the Government enforces the Immigration Regulations, then our public schools should not be overcrowded, especially the Secondary Schools.
It appears that the Immigration Regulations (2017) are not being enforced. As a result, it is costing the taxpayers thousands of dollars and there are not enough spaces available for locals to have their children in public schools. Based on an article I wrote in June 2022, there were 4,500 students in the public schools and the average cost per student was $5,497.49.
Sooner or later if this trend continues, the Government may end up building another Secondary School on the island of Providenciales. It is important that the Immigration Regulations be enforced. It appears that at the time of the application of a work permit, individuals do show their children are registered with a private school but after the work permit is granted, somehow, they are able to get their children in a public school.
It appears that the Education Department is not aware of this requirement. Otherwise, the public schools will not be in the predicament we are in right now. I also think we should challenge Article 26 as it is a burden on us to provide free education to everyone.