Following reports of the teachers’ quarters at Port Kaituma, Region One (Barima-Waini) being vandalized and items stole, the Ministry of Education has since committed to replacing all items stolen from the affected teachers.
Reports are that during the holiday season the teachers’ quarters were broken into and items stolen from two teachers. It was made public, via social media, by the affected teachers who indicated that it is not the first time they have been robbed.
One of the affected teachers had highlighted that they would have written letters to the Department of Education in the Region highlighting the issues with the teachers’ quarters but no actions were taken.
“The thief easily ripped out my kitchen window mesh and my bedroom door which had two locks then went on to ransack the apartment…there was actually an attempt to break in on September 10, 2020. We alerted the relevant authorities via letters thinking that they would have at least put on some iron grills on the windows but nothing was done…I am sick and tired of writing letters through the channel and waiting on the ‘process’. This is my breaking point as a teacher who is dedicated to serving the hinterland,” the teacher had said.
The Education Ministry said Minister Priya Manickchand, upon becoming aware of the issue, intervened and reached out to the affected teachers and assured them that the stolen items will be replaced.
Thus far, the Barima-Waini Department of Education has replaced all dietary, cleaning and other items that were stolen. However, the electronic items that could not be sourced in the Region were ordered externally, and those items will be in the Region before the end of this week, the Ministry assured.
Additionally, repairs have been done on the building that was damaged during the burglary. The steel mesh on the windows was reinforced and a promise was made for grill barriers to be installed shortly.
The Department of Education in the Region has made arrangements for security guards to be rotated so that they can also guard the apartments during the nights until additional guards can be sourced.
The Deputy Chief Education Officer (DCEO) – Amerindian and Hinterland Education Development, Marti DeSouza and the Regional Education Officer Nigel Richards visited the teachers and inspected the apartments.
The replacement items were handed over to the affected teachers and they were assured of the Region’s and the Ministry’s support in ensuring their safety and security. The local Police Department has agreed to make regular checks/patrols in the neighbourhood, especially during the nights.
The teacher who highlighted the issue on social media subsequently expressed gratitude for the assistance rendered following the incident.