By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, Alfred King has rebuffed allegations which sought to indicate that he had sexual intercourse with students at the New Opportunity Corps (NOC).
King, speaking to the media on Thursday, May 15 said the allegations are most ridiculous and erroneous. He said any little investigation would indicate to those peddling such rumors is false since he is in no way responsible for the day to day operations of the institution.
“How will I get there to do that and even when students are brought out my contact with them is monitored and restricted? he questioned.
He recalled the many years he spent integrally involved in teaching and training youth and posited that his record in that regard is testimony to his integrity.
He said he believed he was dragged in, recklessly so, because there is another B. King that works at the NOC.
Meanwhile, Youth Minister Dr. Frank Anthony said he was saddened to learn of the allegations in general of misconduct at the institution; adding that a lot of the information unfolding is to a large extent unsubstantiated and could result in the demoralizing of staff and has already created unease at the facility.
He said he was however pleased that parents have raised their concerns and the Child Care and Protection Agency (CCPA) have begun an investigation which he eagerly awaits the final report.
Dr. Anthony said he has every intention to treat with confirmed and verified acts of misconduct seriously and to ensure that those persons found culpable is dealt with accordingly.
He said it must also be observed that there are penalties for persons who make false statement and allegations. Dr. Anthony also urged Opposition Members of Parliament, whom he described as “very vocal” on the matter [Christopher Jones, Trevor Williams] to ensure they work genuinely with parents to resolve the issues instead of using it for political reasons.
On a separate note, the Minister spoke of continued efforts to acquire from Justice Winston Moore the report for the inquiry into the 2012 outbreak which was due since September 2012.
“I have written less than four letters, I don’t know what’s stopping him; I don’t know what else to do to get the final report.”
The Minister and his PS noted however that some changes have been made at the institution based on the preliminary report that was submitted.
The Minister, who was flanked by several functionaries at the NOC, said the task of running the institution is never going to be an easy one.
He said however, that while the Ministry awaits reports it has taken immediate measures to rectify some of the apparent problem.
Among those measures are for committees to visit the institution more often, for parents to visit their children at least once a week, to introduce an ‘Open Day’ where persons of the public can visit and interact with the students and separate boys from girls, which could mean building an entire new facility among others.
An appeal was also made for more persons, including social workers to take up positions at the NOC.
The Minister and his team rejected claims that students are given morning after pills. They made it clear that their comments were in no way made to nullify reports or evade the quality of investigations but maintain that many reports are untrue or simply unsubstantiated.