Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand on Wednesday met with parents and teachers of the Graham’s Hall Primary School to address overcrowding at the school.
Present at the meeting were Chief Education Officer, Mr Saddam Hussain, Assistant Chief Education Officer- Primary, Mr Rabindra Singh, Principle Education Officer, Mr Immanuel Bridgewater, Assistant Chief Education Officer- Secondary, Ms Tiffany Harvey and Superintendent of Exams, Ms Sauda Kadir.
As a temporary solution to the issue, a previous decision was taken to utilise tents that have adequate lighting, ventilation, and air conditioning to house students. This decision was made both by the teachers and Parent-Teachers’ Association (PTA) body.
While addressing parents, Minister Manickchand noted that the issue was inherited and further highlighted it was caused and exacerbated because persons neglected to follow the rules relating to placement.
Pupils are entitled to be registered at schools closest to their homes. However, an examination of the records at Graham’s Hall Primary would show pupils from as far as West Demerara and Mahaicony are enrolled and attending the school.
In addition to inadequate accommodation for pupils, overcrowding affects the delivery of education since teachers are required to pay attention to more pupils.
During the meeting, parents aired their concerns about the issue and offered possible solutions. Parents who live in the catchment felt that those who do not should be made to attend schools close to their homes while parents who benefited from the broken rules felt an extension of the school should be done.
These will be taken into consideration as the Ministry moves forward.
It was noted that unless written permission is sought from the Chief Education Officer, no child should be registered at the school until the issue is sorted.