North Ruimveldt Multilateral School fire: “We will recover from this” – Minister Manickchand

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The North Ruimveldt Multilateral School on fire this afternoon (Photo: MOE)

The North Ruimveldt Multilateral School, located on Mandela Avenue, Greater Georgetown, was completely destroyed by a massive fire that broke out around noon today but according to Education Minister Priya Manickchand, government will ensure that the A-List secondary school is rebuilt.

The blaze, the origin of which up to this time is unknown, destroyed the school’s main building, leaving just the outer walls standing.

Eyewitnesses say the smoke was seen coming from the upper flat of the two-story building around 13:00h. No one was in the school at the time.

At the scene were Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn, along with Minster Manickchand, who assured students and teachers of North Ruimveldt Multilateral School that the Government has their interest at heart.

“I want particularly the students of this school to know that we’ve already begun work, especially the 65 CSEC students that are to begin their CSEC [exams] in 67 days that we have already begun to determine where they’re going to write the exams and we want to commit to them today that they’re going to get the full support of the Central Ministry and the Government to make sure they can successfully write these exams,” she said to reporters.

According to the Education Minister, the loss of the A-List school is even more devastating since only recently a smart classroom, which costs millions, was commissioned there.

Education Minister Priya Manickchand with Headteacher Allison Cosbert at the scene

Nevertheless, she pledged that government will rebuild the structure which had 512 students and 39 teachers.

“To all the other students, the 512 on the register we will also do what we have to do to make sure those students aren’t displaced anymore were during the COVID period and because of this fire. So, we will have to place these students… It’s our A list school, students who do very well at Common Entrance or NGSA get placed here so we have no choice this will be a school that is repaired and we will recover from this,” Manickchand contended.

Meanwhile, the school’s Headteacher, Allison Cosbert, was shocked by the incident. She said she was informed of the fire by a past teacher of the school.

“When I came, [the fire] was three quarter [on the building] and I’m standing here watching it go down in flames… When you’re heading a school and tragedy like this happens, it’s really devastating. The [Education] Ministry has indicated that they would’ve put measures in place to accommodate especially those students who are writing the CSEC examinations. So, at least they’re catered for and well we’ve got to work along with the Ministry and our department officers to know our way forward,” Cosbert told reporters.

Investigations are ongoing to determine the origins of the fire.