Ituni parents lock teachers in school
Residents of Ituni on Monday and Tuesday took to the streets in an effort to call the attention of the Ministry of Education to their present ‘predicament.’
“We will fight for what we need; for too long Ituni Village was excluded off de map!” One parent shouted. Another declared, “Development must come to ituni that’s why we want our young people back!”
On Monday, parents converged outside the Howell Wilson Primary School bearing placards condemning the Ministry’s decision to discontinue the Secondary department at the School, without consulting them. Yesterday, they took the protest a little further by locking the gates to the school, ‘to get the Ministry’s attention.’
Both teachers and students remained locked in until after 15:00hrs when the parents opened the gates.
The peeved parents complained that several calls to the Education Department in Linden, to voice their concerns went unanswered.
According to the parents, the decision by the Ministry to ‘do away’ with the secondary department at the school, which is the only school in Ituni, has placed untold hardships on parents and children who have to now attend secondary schools in far-flung areas such as Linden and Kwakwani.
“This situation where these children have to now go to schools in Linden and Kwakwani is putting a lot of hardships on us; and on top of that the condition at these dorms where these children are housed is far from satisfactory.
Further, at eleven and twelve years old these children are way too young to be on their own. The Ministry has to come up with something.
We need answers. September is just around the corner and we need to know what will happen then,” one concerned parent declared.
Parents are demanding that the Secondary Competence Certificate Programme (SCCP) be established in Ituni, which would benefit their children.
According to them the school has the accommodation and necessary resources to make this possible.
They are threatening that if they don’t get a positive response from the Education Department urgently, they will take further action.
Meanwhile, informed sources at the Education department acknowledged that there is nothing that could be done about the decision to discontinue the Secondary department.
“We are not going to retrogress, we are progressing. We already told the residents at Ituni, that continuing with the secondary department was not a good idea, as their children would not be able to access the best possible education, considering the prevailing circumstances,” an education official told this newspaper.