By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – In wake of allegations that students of the Santa Rosa Primary School are being forced to fetch water for drinking consumption during tuition time due to the lack of same at the institution, Education Minister Priya Manickhand has vowed to have the matter duly investigated. The issue was raised in the National Assembly on Monday (February 10) by Opposition Chief Whip Amna Ali, who waved a photo of a child in the act to support her claims. She claimed that there was not water at the school that was appropriate for drinking.
Manickchand did state that while the Ministry of Education is responsible for policies in the sector, the administering and delivery of everyday education is within the remit of the Local Government and Regional Development Ministry.
She has committed to investigating the matter outside of the House nonetheless.
The Minister told the House that from a policy perspective, it is downright unacceptable to have students involved in physical labour, especially during tuition time. Manickchand told the House that the Ministry does encourage students to be responsible.
“It is not the policy of the PPP/C administration… we do not countenance students involved in labour but encourage them to be responsible which may including sweeping their classrooms or cleaning a desk,” the Minister said adding that “we do not support, outline or implement any policy that would cause students to be involved in work that would take away from their tuition time.”
In 2013, allegations which later proved to be true surfaced, with pictures showing students from the Kato Primary School fetching logs so that they can be provided with a hot meal through the schools feeding programme.
The Minister had said then that such acts are unacceptable. A position she maintained today.