‘Don’t worry, uncle Jack here’
By VASHTEE ACHIBAR Wednesday, September 12 2012
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PROTEST: Parents of students of the San Fernando RC Primary School protest near San Fernando City Hall yesterday where they met and received assurance...
NATIONAL Security Minister Jack Warner yesterday assured a group of protesting parents of students attending the San Fernando Boys’ RC Primary School, telling them: “Don’t worry, Uncle Jack is here”, as he listened to their woes and sent them away smiling and cheering.
Told that Warner was among a group of politicians attending the launch of the Drug Treatment Court pilot project at San Fernando City Hall, the parents left the school located on the lower end of Harris Promenade — where they staged a placard protest — and went to the band stand opposite City Hall.
The parents are asking that the Ministry of Education order the re-wiring of the school so that a proper electricity supply could be restored and students could get back to classes. The school has not opened since the start of the new term last week.
“We want the Ministry (of Education) to facilitate the complete re-wiring of this school,” said Tenile Leach, public relations officer of the school’s Parent/Teachers Association (PTA).
As the parents chanted, “We want lights...we want lights”, they kept an eye on the doorway of City Hall waiting for Warner to emerge. Shortly after midday, Warner emerged from City Hall, crossed the road and walked straight to the protesting parents who began to cheer.
“Who is the leader of this group,” Warner asked as Leach stepped forward. “I am seeing Education Minister Dr (Tim) Gopeesingh at four o’clock this afternoon and I will discuss the situation with him. I will get a firm to sponsor the lights for you, as a public service, but I prefer to discuss it first with the Minister,” Warner told the parents.
Looking at a boy who was among the group of parents, Warner said: “young man you should be in school.” He then told the parents, “you have no cause to protest, Uncle Jack is here. Take your boy children to school. Trust me. I will get back to you all at five this afternoon.”
As Warner walked back to City Hall, the parents applauded.
Leach last night contacted Newsday to confirm that both Warner and Dr Gopeesingh had called her at 4.15 pm and assured that the re-wiring issue at the school will be resolved in the shortest possible time, to ensure students can get back to classes as soon as possible.
Leach said that the minister told her a contractor would visit the school this morning to assess what has to be done.
Leach said a meeting has been planned for today with parents of students from Standards Four and Five at the Bishop Mendes auditorium and that would be followed by a general meeting on Thursday involving parents of all students at the same auditorium.