‘Blame the Ministry’
By LAUREL V WILLIAMS Thursday, April 24 2014
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LOCKED: Two padlocks and a chain are used to lock the front gate of the Mayaro Government Primary School on Tuesday, the first day of the new school t...
THE Education Ministry must take blame for last month’s incident at Mayaro Government Primary School where eight female students were sexually assaulted by a man on the compound, the school’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA) president Dexter Douglas said yesterday.
“They are responsible. They knew the fence need fixing and that the school had and still has only one security officer on duty. The officer is mandated to have an account of all who enter the compound and he is supposed to patrol the compound. The Ministry is the agency with overall responsibility for all State schools,” Douglas said.
On March 17, a man dressed in what pupils described as a CEPEP uniform inappropriately touched the girls at the school at Plaisance Road, Mayaro. Police investigators said pupils reported the man was brandishing a knife before escaping. Police are yet to arrest and charge anyone for the incident.
Yesterday, Douglas together with other members of the school’s PTA staged a placard demonstration for the second day to highlight their frustration over the school’s condition. Douglas noted that members of the Education Facilities Company Limited (EFCL) visited the school yesterday but said he is still not satisfied.
From 6 am to midday yesterday about 30 parents gathered in front of the school in protest.
Douglas, speaking on behalf of the parents, said toilet facilities are in a deplorable condition and the school is infested with rats which leave 493 students at risk of contracting the rat-borne leptospirosis disease, which can be fatal.
“There are 11 working toilets for 493 students and one for the staff which both males and females share. Only the students in the two Standard Five classes went to school today. We have been writing to the Ministry via the principal and nothing is being done. The EFCL people today were only speaking about repairing and replacing,” Douglas added.
He vowed that the parents will continue with protest action until the problems are rectified. Councillor for Mayaro/Guay-
aguayare Kyron James yesterday said he fully supported the move by the parents because the adults are the voice for the children. Contacted yesterday Alicia Busby communications manager for the Education Ministry said she was in a meeting and was unable to speak at the time.