Parents being repaid after $7M goes missing from Sparta Primary’s Thrift Society

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Parents receiving monies owed

An issue of unpaid Cooperative Thrift Society payments to children of the Sparta Primary School in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) that was reported since 2019 has been resolved, the Education Ministry informed on Tuesday.

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo and Education Minister Priya Manickchand would have paid a visit to the region, where the issue of the unpaid monies was highlighted. It was promised that the matter would be addressed.

“Today (Tuesday), 83 students and their parents will be receiving what is rightfully theirs,” the Education Ministry updated.

In October of 2019, it was reported that parents of children attending the Sparta Primary School were calling for a police investigation into the disappearance of over $7 million from the school’s Cooperative Thrift Society Ltd.

Several parents had indicated to this publication that their children’s savings at the school were not going into the account at the bank. When they initially realised that something was amiss, they requested information but none was forthcoming.

Some parents said that their children left the school over three years ago but they only received a small amount of their savings.

Meanwhile, a source at the school had told this publication that the cash disappeared over a period of time and not in one lump sum. According to the source, a 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 was being repaid in very small sums and in an ad hoc manner. It is for this reason that payments to parents whose children have already left the school were minimum.

At that time, concerned parents were calling on both the Education Department and the Police to intervene. Parents had contended that the school’s Cooperative Thrift Society Ltd is a means of teaching children to save and should have been properly managed.

The School Co-operative Thrift society is one made up of students who belong to the same school. The members elect the Committee of Management, who thereafter appoints the officers. These officers are – the Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer. The Committee manages the society on behalf of the members. Membership is open to all students of the school in which the co-operative society operates.

No member must be under eight years of age. Every member must pay an admission fee as fixed by the co-operative society in accordance with the rules and bylaws. Savings are made once weekly.