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A call by Deputy Chief Education Officer, Luis de Shong, last December, for the Ministry of Education and the Department of Sports and Physical Education in the Ministry of Tourism of Youth and Sports to settle their differences has fallen on hearing ears.{{more}}

de Shong, in an article carried by SEARCHLIGHT December 21, 2007, extended the olive branch to the sports department, and called for dialogue.

A meeting of the major officials of both entities took place last week Friday, and was the first step towards a resolution of the impasse.

Reports are that Manager of the National Sports Council Osbourne Browne acted as mediator in the process, in what was said to have been held in a “cordial atmosphere”.

The rest is now in the hands of the Permanent Secretaries, who are both expecting reports from their representatives by January 31, to set the stage for a common ground of understanding.

It was also reported that with the schools’ athletics programme already underway, the process was fast tracked to have personnel from the sports department assist with their expertise before the end of January deadline.

The members of the department re-entered the fray last Wednesday when they proceeded to the Stubbs Playing Field to get that surface ready for the Stubbs Primary School Athletics which was set to run off yesterday.

Officials from that department were also expected to play a major role in the staging of the meet.

Relations became strained last school term, when the Department of Sports and Physical Education withdrew its services from activities under the aegis of the Ministry of Education.

The Ministry of Education counteracted by giving a directive, barring officials of the department of sports from conducting coaching sessions in the schools.

de Shong said then that part of the discord between the two ministries was some alleged disrespectful comments made by an official of the sports department.(RT)