[www.inewsguyana.com] – One hundred and eighty-seven (187) students attending the Baramita Primary School, Region One will soon benefit from hot meals, as Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs and Fourth Vice President, Sydney Allicock handed over a $4 million cheque to Toshao Trevor Matheson for the construction of a kitchen.
Of the 187 students attending the school, 20 are in the nursery department, 34 in the secondary and the remainder in the primary. All these students will benefit from a hot meal once this kitchen is completed.
This handing over was done following a visit by Minister Allicock, who headed a delegation comprising Ministers within the Ministries of Communities, Dawn Hastings-Williams and Social Protection, Simona Broomes, Regional Member of Parliament, Richard Allen, members of the National Toshaos Council (NTC) and representatives of the Amerindian People’s Association (APA), the Women Miners Organisation (WMO) and the National Agriculture Research and Extension Institute (NAREI).
This visit was a follow-up of a previous visit that was done two months ago, where residents expressed concerns about children not attending school because of not having a meal and uniforms. This has contributed to the high drop-out rate in the community, they said.
The council had started the construction of a kitchen with funds that was donated by miners working in the community. However, materials that were accumulated for the building went missing; resulting in it being left undone for two years. The council said that the current structure will be condemned, and the $4M received will be used to construct a new concrete building.
With regards to the uniform, it was noted that the Ministry did distribute uniform materials to the community; however Senior Headmistress, Jennifer Williams explained that the cloth was not the correct colour so it was not utilised. She also noted that there wasn’t anyone to sew the uniforms.
The Toshao explained that there are persons who can sew, but there is need for sewing machines. Minister Allicock immediately instructed his staff to have the uniform materials exchanged, and asked the miners if they can assist the village in acquiring at least three sewing machines. The miners have committed to do so.
Meanwhile, the school also received sports equipment including footballs and volleyballs, nets, tennis racquets and cricket bats. This is to ensure that the youths are fully involved in recreational activities. The teachers also received school bags and other school supplies to be distributed among the children, while the parents received food items. [Extracted and modified from GINA]