Manickchand promises probe of Santa Rosa students being forced to fetch water

- says local gov’t responsible for day-to-day operations

Education Minister Priya Manickchand yesterday promised to investigate reports of students of the Santa Rosa Primary School are being forced to fetch water, while telling the National Assembly that it is the Local Government Ministry that is responsible for the day-to-day operations involving education in the regions.

She was at the time responding to questions raised by APNU Shadow Minister of Education Amna Ally, who raised issues affecting the Santa Rosa Primary.

Manickchand, however, said that while it has been determined that the Education Ministry is responsible for policy and the results of the policy, ensuring the delivery of education falls under the ambit of the Local Government Ministry.

“The Honourable Member is directing her question at the wrong person… but I would be happy to investigate to ensure that this temporary issue is resolved as quickly as possible,” Manickchand said.

Ally stated that while flush toilets were installed at the school and a significant amount of money was spent on water tanks, these were not working.

While holding up pictures of the water tanks and a student fetching a bucket of water, she told the National Assembly that there was no drinking water at the school and that the children are being forced to fetch water on a daily basis.

The Shadow Minister also asked if there was a cleaner appointed to the school by the ministry, and the minister informed that policy is within her remit and that if the allegations are true, the ministry will deal with it. “We do have to investigate whether it is true because the wood fetching incident, the Toshao and members of that community wrote to say that this was a posed picture.

The children were asked to pose by an AFC member.”

Manickchand’s statement caused an uproar in the House and Speaker Raphael Trotman stated that a parliamentary delegation visited Kato and its members were told of reports of children fetching logs. “That was a delegation that comprised both government and opposition; we were told that yes, there was a time when firewood had to be fetched and it was regrettable… I am quite surprised to hear that statement,” Trotman said. He also said that he would forward Ally’s questions to the Local Government Minister.

Manickchand acknowledged that there were  challenges in dealing with several schools, particularly those in far flung areas, but added that the ministry’s policy is to deliver a quality curriculum by investing in resources.

She informed that the ministry does not support students being involved in labour if it interferes with their tuition but that they encourage them to be responsible and this may include them helping to clean their surroundings and may involve them helping to sweep their classrooms.

“We do not support the policy, have not outlined the policy, and do not implement any policy where children would be engaged in any activity that would take away from their tuition… if there is a breach of the policy, we would address that,” she said.

As the minister was speaking, Ally shouted out, “Shame, shame!” She said she found it convenient that the minister could have answered part of the question asked.

More in Local News

Raphael Trotman

Gov’t will not be ‘lectured to in the press’ on forest concessions, Trotman says

Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Raphael Trotman yesterday said that the government will not be “lectured” to in the press on the issue of forestry concessions, while announcing that the arrival of officials from a company in China that may take over the operations of the controversial Baishanlin is being awaited.

Black Bush murder victims laid to rest: Rice farmer, Pawan Chandradeo, 37; his fifteen-year-old son, Jaikarran Chandradeo, both of 163 Mibicuri North, Black Bush Polder and his brother-in-law Naresh Rooplall, 33, of Number 75 Village, Corentyne were yesterday laid to rest following an emotional funeral. They were buried at the Babu John Cemetery, Port Mourant. The trio were found dead on Friday, less than a day after they had left to go on a fishing trip in Black Bush Polder. Intense investigations are underway into the murders. Photo shows the caskets of the three victims and part of the crowd that gathered.

Black Bush triple murder suspects brought to city

Seven men, including the main suspect who was arrested in connection with the Black Bush Polder, Corentyne triple murder were transported to Georgetown on Tuesday evening and are currently being questioned by ranks from the Criminal Investigation Department’s (CID), Major Crimes Unit.

Anthony Jhagroo

Bulletin issued for suspect in murder of mechanic

The police yesterday issued a  bulletin for Anthony Jhagroo, who is wanted for questioning in relation to two offences: escaping from lawful custody and the murder of mechanic, Yugeshwar Shiwcharan.

default placeholder

Five cops under close arrest over stolen gold

Five police officers attached to the Brickdam Police Station are currently under close arrest after they allegedly stole a quantity of raw gold from some miners last Friday.

default placeholder

Norway team ‘horrified’ at bauxite mining in pilot village Muritaro

A private bauxite mining operation in the Amerindian community of Muritaro on the Demerara River, discovered by members of a “horrified” team from Norway, was shut down by the Ministry of Natural Resources late last year, since the community was one identified to benefit from the Guyana-Norway forest protection scheme.

default placeholder

New candidate identified to head Bid Protest Committee

Attorney at Law Joann Bond will now head the recently-constituted Bid Protest Committee (BPC) established under the Procurement Act, well-placed sources say.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: