[www.inewsguyana.com] – Board Member of Blue CAPS, Michael Leonard has expressed concern about the safety of students of will be sitting CXC and CAPE examinations on May 11 – the same day that Guyanese will go to the polls.
During his appearance on the radio programme ‘Hard Talk’ aired on 90.1Love FM on Sunday, January 25, Leonard pointed out the fact that school venues are usually utilized as polling stations by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), therefore the security of the students are at risk.
He is of the view that more consideration should have been given to the date by President Donald Ramator and the PPP government.
“I don’t want to be a pessimist and I really hope that nothing like this happens but we have had looting in the past on those days and if I had a young child and they were writing CXC at one of the schools in Georgetown and I am in Mahaica, I wouldn’t feel comfortable as a parent, knowing that they are there and these things can just happen like that.”
He suggested that another date be announced for Elections Day. Leonard also chastised the President for not consulting with Opposition Leader, David Granger before announcing an election date.
“…the Opposition represents right now just over 50% of the public, whether they represent me or my neighbor, they represent 50% of the people, they are important.”
Meanwhile, in responding to Leonard’s concerns, Minister of Local Government & Regional Development Norman Whittaker, who also appeared on the radio programme, explained that prime consideration was given by the President and Cabinet on the issues raised.
“There is nothing that limits the venue for the writing of exams to school buildings and so all of those would have been considered and measures will be put in place to ensure that there is no disturbing children’s writing the examination or the teachers involved in supervision, parents involved in supervision.”
The Local Government Minister is adamant that there was nothing sinister about the May, 11.
“Why would we want to do that and what gain would we get from doing that? There were several considerations I don’t think the President woke up one day or got out of his sleep and chose a date; there were several considerations including what the constitution requires.”
According to the CSEC timetable, the subjects scheduled to be written on that day are Agricultural Science (Double and Single Awards); Theatre Arts; Electrical and Electronic Technology (Technical); and Food and Nutrition Paper Two.
CAPE subjects scheduled to be written on that day include Geometrical and Mechanical Engineering Drawing Unit One – Paper Two; History Unit One – Paper Two; Art and Design Examinations to begin for Unit One, Papers Two and Three, and Unit Two, Papers One and Two; and Communication Studies Paper Two.