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.

Latest in Local News

default placeholder

Stealth flight plane grounded in Anguilla

One of two planes that left Guyana illegally under the cover of darkness on Saturday has been given clearance to leave Anguilla and the other was grounded in the British overseas territory, Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson has said.

The remains of the home Satesh Jagmohan was occupying when tragedy struck

De Willem teen burns to death in house fire

A 19-year-old labourer perished in a mysterious fire which destroyed a two-bedroom house in the De Willem, West Coast Demerara (WCD) squatting area on Saturday night.

default placeholder

ExxonMobil set to drill more oil wells

American oil firm ExxonMobil will be drilling more wells after an appraisal well confirmed the presence of a significant deposit of oil in the location close to where the first well was drilled.

default placeholder

Implement anti-discrimination laws quickly – outgoing US Embassy Deputy

It is important that Guyana move quickly to enact anti-discrimination laws as discrimination and homophobia “is a very real problem” for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LBGT) community here, outgoing Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy here, Bryan Hunt has said.

Ishaan Caines

Coverden cop dies in Bamia accident

A police rank died on Saturday afternoon after he lost control of the car he was driving and it flipped over in the vicinity of the Bamia Creek on the Linden/Soesdyke highway.

A section of the gathering (Ministry of the Presidency photo)

Protected zones to be set up in all 10 regions

President David Granger on Friday said that protected areas will be established in all 10 regions of the country. The Ministry of the Presidency said in a release on Saturday that he was speaking at the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana’s (THAG) President’s Awards Ceremony 2016.

default placeholder

GPL invites bids for 11 MW Anna Regina plant

The Guyana Power and Light is inviting bids for the construction of an 11 MW plant at Anna Regina on the Essequibo Coast and one for 5.5 MW at Canefield on the East Berbice.

default placeholder

Waste management soaking up BV/Triumph NDC funds

Waste management is taking up over 50% of the revenues of the Beterverwagting /Triumph Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) and councillors who were elected at historic local government polls are now confronting problems which have led to frustration with one already contemplating resignation.

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: