Anger flared Tuesday at
the Capitol Building when lawmakers accused Education Minister Edmonia Tarpeh of partiality for earmarking US$30,000 as subsidy to the B.W. Harris Episcopal High School alone, while U$10,000 each was being allotted to other faith-based schools in the 2012/13-draft budget.
But she declined to comment on the matter in public, and instead requested a secret meeting with members of the joint legislative budget hearing committee to discuss the issue, which appeared touchy.
The request for a secret meeting split members of the House with some, including Reps. Acarious Gray and Eugene Fallah Kpakah rejecting the move.
They walked out of session to press their rejection while other lawmakers accepted the secret meeting with Minister Tarpeh.
“If the Ministry of Education can give this single school U$30,000 and allot U$10,000 to other faith-based institutions… they should be able to justify it in the public domain,” Rep. Gray insisted.
He said the minister “should be able to make clarification on the matter in open session since, in fact, this was a matter of credibility.”
Rep. Kparkah supported Rep. Gray’s contention, accusing the education minister of being a part of the decision by private schools to hike school fees in the country.