The Department of Education in region nine conducted a ‘Truancy search operation” last week in Lethem. The exercise was a success as the team captured a 13-year-old female who was wanted by the courts.
The operation team was made up of two Education officers, one rank from the Guyana Police Force, one medic and one school welfare officer.
Information reaching this publication was that the team searched approximately 25-30 homes. As a result of this search, the team came into contact with 26 youths between the ages of nine and sixteen who have not been to school for the last two years.
Of the 26 truants, 14 were Guyanese who attended school in Bom fim, Brazil, and the other 12 are Guyanese who attended school in Lethem. Of those 12 Lethem attendants, nine are males and three are females.
According to a Ministry Official, the parents of those found were “sternly warned” and told that if it happens again they will be prosecuted for keeping the minors away from school.
Sources claim that the team came into contact with a 13-year-old girl who is not only a truant but also an offender.
The girl was, approximately one year ago, arrested for larceny. She was placed on bail however, never showed up in court.
According to sources, she and her mother fled the country last year and went to Brazil.
Sources claim that the young girl’s mother sold her to a “big man” in Brazil. When Brazilian authorities found out about the matter the girl’s mother was reportedly sentenced to prison for four years. The “big man” was also sentenced for a time unknown to this news paper.
The young girl who was placed in a “correctional home” in Brazil managed to escape from the institution and found her way back to Guyana.
The 13-year-old is now in the care of her father with the understanding that she must attend school and make her court appearances.
An official from the education department said that the operation was successful since the following day all the children returned to school. “They returned to school with whatever they had. Schools are now contributing to those who cannot afford the necessary school supplies.”
According to a source, the Ministry will now make this an ongoing activity.
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