Over $7M missing from Essequibo Coast primary school thrift society

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Parents of children attending the Sparta Primary School, Essequibo Coast, Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) are calling for a police investigation into the disappearance of over $7 million from the school’s Cooperative Thrift Society Ltd.

According to one parent, the situation needs to be addressed as complaints were previously raised but the issue was not addressed.

“This thing is going on for too long now and no one seems to care including the Department of Education,” another parent said.

Several parents, who met with this publication, said that their children’s savings at the school were not going into the account at the bank.

According to the parents, when they initially realised that something was amiss, they requested information but none was forthcoming.

In fact, some parents said that their children left the school over three years ago but they only received a small amount of their savings. This newspaper reached out to the school for a comment but was directed to the Regional Education Department. When contact was made, the staff who answered the phone directed this publication to the Education Ministry.

Meanwhile, a source at the school told this publication that the cash disappeared over a period of time and not in one lump sum. According to the source, the person at the centre of the controversy was transferred to another school in the region and is presently repaying the money.

The source added that the money is being repaid in very small sums and in an ad hoc manner. It is for this reason, the source added, that payments to parents whose children have already left the school, is minimum.

However, the concerned parents are calling on both the Education Department and the police to intervene. A parent stated that if the matter is probed by the police then the extent of the fraud will be uncovered. The parent added that the school’s Cooperative Thrift Society Ltd is a means of teaching children to save and should have been properly managed.