Q.C. still is doldrum despite repeated promises

Letters to the Editor
Stabroek News
October 5, 1999

Dear Sir,

The Queen's College fire was 22 months ago

The chronology goes like this:-

1) November 16, 1997 - Queen's College fire.

2) November 17, 1997 - Meeting of students and staff at Cultural Centre, at which the Minister of Education, the Chief Education Officer, the Chairman of the QC board and others too numerous to mention made solemn promises of urgent action to rebuild the school to its former glory and to make it better than ever.

3) Thirteen months after the fire (December 13, 1998) no money had been allocated by government but QC board chairman Ronald Alli announced that government was expected to release $100 million from the 1999 national budget. Mr Alli commented that the money would be used to start phase 2 of the rehabilitation of QC.

4) Sixteen months after the fire (April 1999) it transpired that no funds had been allocated from the 1999 national budget in spite of the Minister of Finance's promises. The Stabroek News editorial dealt with the demoralising effect the empty promises were having on students and staff.

5) Ronald Alli stated that the work would begin at the beginning of August, but even if it was not started by September "we will find ways to get it done"!

6) Twenty-two months after the fire (October, 1999). The Minister of Finance is the same now as then. He has more authority but apparently just as little commitment to solving QC's problems as he ever had.

So far this government on the matter of Queen's College has made monkeys of us all. Perhaps Ronald Alli spoke once too often when he said that things at QC were not as bad as they were reported. Anyway, government has given us the same old platitudes and promises. They have prevaricated for nearly two years and done absolutely nothing and show no sign of doing anything.

The chairman of the QC board has for months and months been fed on a diet of rubbish from the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Education about their QC intentions. I have little doubt (and great hope) that being an honourable man he will now lead by example and resign. Perhaps the entire board and PTA will follow him. After all he can hardly show his face at PTA meetings after all the promises he's been making on behalf of a government which appears to have no intention of keeping them.

Yours faithfully
John Warrington

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