Ministry of Education, Guyana

12 Aug Press Release - To Burn A School Is To Destroy The Most Necessary Tool For Poverty Alleviation In A Community

Published in From the Minister's Desk Read 4015 times

The Ministry of Education condemns in the strongest possible language the burning of the One Mile Primary School at Linden.

The school is the largest primary school in Region 10 and is home to more than 830 of Guyana’s children.
Peaceful protest and freedom to assemble is enshrined in our Constitution and must not only be allowed but encouraged in any democracy. This government upholds that principle. No person in their right mind, however, can argue that to burn bridges, block roads and burn schools constitute peaceful protest.

Every peace loving person and citizen who recognises education as a necessary tool for poverty alleviation must condemn the burning of schools immediately. There can be no ifs and buts and conditions. This is wrong, will affect our innocent children, will create grave hardship for all involved, and must be unreservedly condemned.

It will be challenging for the Ministry to place the more than said 830 children into schools that are already filled. It will certainly be challenging on the pockets of their poor parents to find transportation and other money to send these now school-less children to other schools given that the one closest to their home has been burnt to the ground.

It will be challenging on the other schools which will now be forced to take in these children. All the schools taking in and the children attending will certainly suffer as they will be accommodating far beyond their capacity and hence teaching far below their maximum. Linden has the most trained teachers in Guyana with 93% of the primary level trained but, even so, now instead of the schools focusing on quality delivery they will now have to focus on mass and on counteracting the challenges posed by increased numbers. So in effect much more than the said 830 One Mile Primary kids will suffer.

As we know schools are not built overnight, so this is a most tragic circumstance that will prevail for as long as the children are forced to attend these other schools. We will stand with our education officers, headteachers and teachers, parents and students throughout what will surely be a most difficult period
We are failing at the Ministry to understand how to burn a school could be determined to be an effective way to protest reform for the payment of electricity rates. We believe that the people of Linden are being used by the politicians who do not so much care about Lindeners as they do about advancing their own wild and undemocratic agendas.

To burn a school is to remove the most necessary tool for poverty alleviation. To have burnt One Mile Primary is to attempt to condemn all the children attending that school to a life of poverty.

We call on all right thinking members of society, political leaders, religious leaders, business people, ordinary Guyanese, to join us in condemnation of this most heinous act. We call on the Lindeners to let sense prevail. Guard the future of your children jealously and reject all efforts whose only consequence can be to doom you and your children to a life of dire poverty and hardship.

Last modified on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 09:38
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