Parents should not hang around school compounds when classes are in session

Dear Editor,

Most times whilst taking my daughter to Zeelugt Primary School, parents (mostly mothers) could be seen in the school compound in groups and when the school bell rings, they would converge where the children line up. They were so close that if one of them decided to stretch their hand out they could touch the children in the line.

It was disgusting to witness and the former headmistress used to face a lot of criticism when she requested that they move. I don’t know what the parents hoped to achieve with their actions, but when the children entered their respective classes the parents would still linger in the compound during the whole school session (whole day). I observed the new headmistress being bolder than the former and demanding that they exit the compound, much to the annoyance of the parents. They would then go and wait at people’s houses or shops until break and lunch time. I wonder if they were so dedicated about staying at school in their time, and if they don’t have domestic work at their homes to do. Apart from Zeelugt Primary School, the same could be seen at Leonora Primary, Meten-Meer-Zorg and other schools.

Editor, these parents either didn’t realize or didn’t care, but their presence there served as a distraction to the children, because in most cases, the children could see wherever the parents were and would occasionally glance at them, or the parents’ action would draw their attention and distract them from their school work.  It’s high time the Ministry of Education enact rules that would prevent this madness, because it sometimes could endanger children’s lives, which I will explain.

When the school term started, a first grader from the Meten-Meer-Zorg primary requested to use the toilet and the teacher sent the child. When the child didn’t return she sent a few children to locate him and they were unsuccessful. She then looked herself and reported to the head teacher. As they were about to go to the child’s home, the child and parent returned to school because the child had escaped through one of the open gates. The parent started to behave in an unmannerly way to the teacher but the matter was resolved with the head teacher’s assistance. After that she started to padlock the gates, much to the annoyance of the ‘liming parents’ because they could not be in the compound or enter and exit as they felt like. During the robbery incident on Monday, vendors at the primary school noticed two males exiting a green car and trying to enter the school, when they noticed the gate had been padlocked. One of the vendors informed the men that they should go to the other entrance and a teacher would open the gate. Whilst going to the other entrance, the men saw a police vehicle approaching, and they abandoned their vehicle and ran to the seawall. I saw no mention of this in the papers, but if the head teacher hadn’t been so adamant about padlocking the gates, the two men who might have been unknown robbers could have entered the school and only God knows what might have happened. I am appealing to all parents to desist from wasting time at the school compound, distracting children from their studies and endangering the lives of all the children, and they should ensure that the gates are padlocked after a school session starts.

Yours faithfully,
Sahadeo Bates

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