Shortage of classrooms in Suriname

(de Ware Tijd) PARAMARIBO – The management of the Ministry of Education (Minov) had to face the facts once more at the start of the school year: the demand for more schools and classrooms has not let up.

Scores of children have not been enrolled yet at a school, but this is due to several reasons. An official at Minov tells de Ware Tijd that not only has construction not been completed, but several principals are to blame for failure to cooperate. De Ware Tijd learned that principals who act against Minov rules by placing fewer children in a classroom will be punished. The Minov official assures that all students will be enrolled at a school. Long rows typified the scene at the Ministry yesterday when parents, despite an admission slip, could not enroll their child at a school. Officials of the education inspectorate, who could not handle the influx of parents, received assistance from permanent secretary Grace Malm-Lackin. Minister of Education Shirley Sitaldin avoided the pressures of the start of the school year in Paramaribo and traveled to Nickerie for the opening of a new junior high in the Groot Henarpolder. The Minister has plans to expand the inspectorate and technical department in Nickerie this year.

Currently the inspectorate is understaffed but since this in an important department the Minister prioritizes alleviating its problem. In her speech the Minister promised support from Paramaribo. She added that this new school year’s motto is performance despite political affiliation. Sitaldin hopes that Principal Kries Chatta will be able to offer quality education to the students. She called on parents not to neglect their children and see to it that they finish school in four years. The school at Groot Henar is the fifth junior high in Nickerie.


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