Feb 08, 2012 News
Residents of Aishalton are peeved that the authorities have failed to rectify inefficiencies at the Aishalton Secondary School and dormitory, even after the Toshao wrote to the Ministries of Education and Amerindian Affairs and the Regional Democratic Council, highlighting students’ plights.
The letter was sent following the death of three students last year, who residents assumed had run away from school for several reasons, including shortage of food, harsh living conditions, and bullying by older students.
Last year, three boys perished in a sand pit not too far from the school, sending shockwaves through the Region Nine community.
The boys’ actions were not surprising to residents since during that particular week in November, there were four similar attempts to flee the dormitories by other students.
However, their deaths have left residents with the desire to see changes in the school and dormitory managements.
According to a resident, the absence of a Head Teacher, inadequate food supply, poor dormitory management, insufficient water supply and sexual activities are some of the challenges students, especially those who reside in the dormitories, encounter.
“Since that incident occurred, nothing has changed. The dorm parents remain the same and children continue to leave the school compound whenever they feel like. The Ministry of Education haven’t even sent a Head Teacher; that young teacher cannot teach and manage the school at the same time,” he stated.
The man related that food has always been a problem in the school and this is appalling, since farming is a major economic activity of Amerindian communities. He added that years ago, a Dorm Mother resigned because she refused to prepare “next to nothing” for students to consume.
The resident noted the inadequate management by House Parents has led to the older students bullying the younger ones, and sexual misconduct in the dormitory. He emphasized that recently, condoms and nude pictures were found in the dormitory. These occurrences have made elders feel uncomfortable and worried about the safety of their children.
The man stressed that the Parent Teachers’ Association needs to have a stronger voice in the management of the school, and the Regional Education Officer should constantly monitor the institution’s activities, since there is no Head Teacher.
A few weeks ago, Education Minister, Pryia Manickchand, in a press statement, had assured that the Ministries of Education, Amerindian Affairs and Local Government are embarking on a detailed examination of the status of hinterland Secondary Schools with particular focus on the provision of services at and the expansion of dorms for Guyana’s children.
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