Minister of Education, Anthony Garcia, said the controversy involving the Fyzabad Secondary football team is embarrassing and disturbing for the Ministry, and promised a thorough investigation into the fiasco.
On Thursday, Fyzabad Secondary were kicked out of the Premier Division of the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) after fielding two ineligible players.
The two players were accepted into Lower Six and permitted to play SSFL as it was believed they had at least four CSEC passes. But according to SSFL general secretary Azaad Mohammed-Khan, rumours began to surface which prompted them to make some enquiries.
Their investigations revealed the footballers did not have the necessary qualifications and their documents to gain admission into Lower Six were fraudulent.
In a press release on Thursday, the SSFL revealed they have forwarded all documents to the Ministry of Education.
Garcia, speaking about the situation yesterday, said, “The news is very disturbing to us at the Ministry of Education. Our Chief Education Officer (Heeralal Seecharan), in a meeting with me this morning, told me that he asked the examination section of the Ministry to get information with respect to the performance of the students at the CSEC exam.
He told me as a result of that investigation, it was found that those two boys did not write the June exam. He has instructed the line supervisor of the school to conduct a thorough investigation into this whole issue as to how those two students could be enrolled as players without meeting the established criteria.”
The SSFL press release on Thursday stated the players’ January 2017 examination results were falsified while Garcia indicated they did not write any examinations in June either.
Garcia said the principals of the various schools have the responsibility to ensure these situations don’t happen.
“It is a league that is supposed to be administered by the principals.
“Of course, the principals have delegated that responsibility to either the games master or somebody else in authority, but essentially it is a principal’s league and as a result it falls directly under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education. Therefore, an infraction like this will do nothing but embarrass the Ministry of Education.”
Garcia said after more investigations are done, more action may be taken on the guilty parties. “This is why we are calling for a full investigation to find out who is culpable, and if there is action to be taken, the Ministry of Education will take the necessary action based on our findings.”
The Minister is calling on those involved to be an example for the younger generation. “Remember we teach children, and in everything that we do, we must have uppermost in our minds the fact it is children who we teach.
“In teaching children, we must teach them the proper values, we must teach them honesty, we must teach them everything that will benefit and uplift them.”
Garcia stressed that the footballers must meet the necessary academic qualifications. “Of course (they must meet the criteria).
We encourage our schools to take part in sporting activities and therefore schools where sport is played, it must not be a football school or a cricket school it must be a school where sport is played.”