Education Minister defends decision to place daughter in private school system

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By Tracey Khan – Drakes

 

Education Minister, Priya Manickchand. [iNews' Photo]
Education Minister, Priya Manickchand. [iNews’ Photo]
[www.inewsguyana.com] –Education Minister Priya Manickchand has justified her decision to have her daughter attend a private nursery institution, even as she continues to boast of the many gains and growth of the public arm of the education sector.

At her end of the year press conference today, Friday December 12, Manickchand stated that the Constitution has given her the right to choose what is in the best interest of her children, as she admitted that as the woman in charge of the country’s education sector and promoting its growth, she is being looked at differently.

In response to the question posed at the news conference, Manickchand explained, “When she turned three years…she wasn’t allowed into the public school because she was a month younger than she needed to be and she couldn’t get into a public school; if she did you would ask me now why I broke the rules to allow my child into a school that I wasn’t allowing other people’s children into.”

She further explained, “there was a private school that said they would take her and they did…I would ask you to remember that she has another parent who also makes decision for her and that other parent felt it was in her best interest given the place she was at to have her start school at the time that she did.”

The Education Minister noted that if her daughter is to now be placed in the public school system, she would be demoted because of her age.

“If I were to put her back into a public school now because she is now of age, I would have to demote her a year so she would have to go down a year, she is now in upper nursery and she would have to go into lower nursery and I know of no parent who would do that to their child,” Manickchand told Reporters.

After realizing that thousands of children were unable to start nursery school in 2013 – the same year Minister Manickchand’s daughter started school – she took a decision to have the age of attendance changed in 2014 which saw over 3,000 children starting school.

The question was then posed whether the Minister would have her younger son attend the public school system since it now allows for children at the age of 3 years to start.

She responded with some amount of uncertainty.

“He’s only two, I think schooling for him arises in 2016…I didn’t even go that far as yet…but again whatever decision, I don’t know, I don’t know what will be happening in 2016 September. I can’t say now whatever decision I make for my children will be what I believe what their father believes.”

Minister Manickchand has been heavily criticized for her decision; however, she maintains it is in the best interest of her child.

4 COMMENTS

  1. That change could have been long before but many guyanese fail to voice their concern properly. How many would have written constructively to the minister to voice their concerns on this matter prior to the changes? Let me guess, no one. We fail to utilise our power properly as a citizen of guyana and it is my opinion that no one should complain.

  2. I remember the question being posed as to whether the national policy change was forthcoming only because it affected Minister Manickchand’s child/children and at the time the answer given was no. The comments in this article clearly contradicts those earlier statements. It therefore begs the question are policies people driven (i.e. the wide electorate) or personally driven. I am one parent whose child, long before Minister Manickchand was affected by that stupid rule suffered and was delayed entry to school by one entire year owing to some negligible difference in the child’s age and the accepted age. Did I complain? Yes! Did others like me complain? Yes! Was anything done? No! That is until it hit home for one of the elites running the country. Go long Guyana continue to accept this trampling of your rights and this flagrant disrespect for the needs of the people. Some may say that I should shut up now because the change has happened however it came about does not matter. I will stand up to say how it came about does matter. Is it too much that I want to be assured that national decisions and policies are being made bottom up given the electorate’s concerns and issues?

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