May 13, 2013 Letters
School drop-outs have been increasing at an alarming rate throughout Guyana and if someone or organisation mentions it, this Government would come up with some concocted story claiming otherwise. In Zeelugt, a lot of children are abstaining from school occasionally and gradually they have stopped completely with the blessings from some parents who are mostly poor. These children’s ages start from around seven years and most of them, being boys, are being solicited to do odd jobs around the area for money because of their parents’ financial positions and the money they earn assisted their family greatly.
Some of them have formed small groups and they could be seen walking all around smoking cigarettes and in some cases troubling people and getting into mischief.
Editor, what is alarming is that they are being encouraged to drink alcohol and use illicit drugs by rogue elements within the area and in order for them to fund their new habit, they eventually turn to crime. In some cases, after a crime is committed, their names are called and they are beaten by the victims, although the victims cannot identify them.
At the Lenora Police Station, Zeelugt village is the most popular name. Of late, some of the allegations are against teenagers and they are for break and enter, gambling, fighting, etc., and in some cases juveniles have been arrested, taken to court and granted bail. One recent case involves a twelve –year-old boy spending nearly one month at East La Penitence lock-up because twenty thousand dollars could not be raised for his bail.
Immediately after the second budget cut, the propaganda machines started to fill the airwaves saying that Guyanese will face hardship and lots of people will be out of jobs. Apparently it is okay for them to give their families and friends jobs so that they could get checks written in their names or misusing the funds, awarding contracts to who they want, but it’s not ok when the opposition is forcing them to tighten on the funds that could make life for us better instead of them wasting it. Many parents cannot afford to send their children to school. It is costing a first grader approximately one thousand dollars to print out one school assignment from a internet cafe, almost every week one has to be done. How many parents can afford this, especially when some of them have more than one child? Some of the parents don’t have a steady job, because this government prefers to give our jobs to foreigners.
The police are well aware of this development in Zeelugt and no one can tell me they are not concerned and they must inform those in the relevant Ministries. The schools have records, they should be informing the Ministry when a child stops going to the school. Why are they not visiting the homes to see how they could help or get help?
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