By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Shadow Education Minister and A Partnership for National Unity’s (APNU) Parliamentarian, Amna Ally says Education Minister, Priya Manickchand has the choice to send her daughter to a private or public school but at the same time pointed out the faults within the public education system.
Manickchand at a news conference on Friday, December 12, defended her decision to enroll her daughter in a private school, stating that it had to do with her age at the time.
Whether or not it is a fair choice, Ally said it is left up to the public to make its own assessment.
“It is her choice, the matter of fairness, we can assess that for ourselves, it is a matter of choice but it is the government and the Minister of Education who has us in this plight – the public education system…our children, there is no opportunity for them for proper learning. Our teachers don’t have good conditions and they [government] don’t care anyway about improving the conditions,” Ally told Reporters during the APNU weekly press conference on Friday.
She further noted, “The government ministers know what they have been doing to the public education system and it pinches on their feet too and that is why they don’t send their children to the public schools, because personally they care about themselves and they don’t care about the rest of the population, so they want self satisfaction.”
The Shadow Education Minister also highlighted the plight of some children enrolled in the public education system, as she blasts the government for not caring about the ordinary man.
“They don’t care whether my child or your child gets a good education; they don’t care about providing opportunities for other people’s children. They have the money, they send their children to get the best of it at the private schools and that is the end of the matter for them.
“They don’t care if the children at Liberty is flooded out and cannot go to school for several weeks; they don’t care whether the children an Moruca can fetch water for the toilets on a daily basis…they don’t care how the children get to school, whether they have transportation or not; the Ministers got the big limousines to take their children to their private schools, so they don’t care a damn what happens at the bottom to the rest of the people and yet you hear ‘because we care.’”
Manickchand 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.
She 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.”