Ministry of Education acknowledges debt to weeder

Dear Editor,

The Ministry of Education wishes to thank Mr. GHK Lall for bringing to its attention through the Stabroek News by way of a letter in its columns `Minister Manickchand should address the concerns of this weeder’ (SN Oct 22, 2013) , the non-payment for weeding services provided by Mr. Raja Singh . We thank the Stabroek News also in this endeavour.

The Ministry has since checked its records and has found that indeed Mr. Singh is owed for his services.  We would like to extend our unreserved and unqualified apology for this error, which was made since 2007. The Ministry believes this is unacceptable and hopes that in the carrying out of their duties officers are going to be conscious and proactive in ensuring persons who kindly render their services are paid in a timely manner. Nothing less would be tolerated.

The Ministry is making every effort at this time to ensure that Mr. Singh receives the payment due to him in a few days’ time.

The Ministry wishes, however, to ask persons to be responsible even as they do their duty to help others. The letter that was written and published contains some facts but much sensational material with numerous errors and defamatory statements. The Minister’s Secretariat is adamant that this gentleman never wrote directly to this Minister while she was Minister of Education and that he never visited their office.

We believe the Secretariat as Mr. Lall’s letter also stated that on numerous occasions efforts have been made to address this matter with the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Liverpool.  However, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary is in fact not Mr. Liverpool but Ms. Delma Nedd. She has been the Permanent Secretary since December 2011. The letter also refers to a Mr. Kishore. Our search has not unearthed any Mr. Kishores working at the Ministry that would be concerned with a matter of this nature. Again, we wish to apologize to Mr. Raja Singh and reassure him that we are making every effort to ensure that he receives what is owed to him.

We encourage the Stabroek News and indeed every other newspaper or news agency to kindly check with our PR department for clarification and in an effort to discern the truth, before hastily publishing letters or other material.  The desire to help, while commendable, cannot trump the duty not to defame and mislead.

Yours faithfully,
Suelle Findlay-Williams
PR Department
Ministry of Education 

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