This government inherited a large number of dilapidated schools Editorial
Stabroek News
October 17, 2001

Dear Editor,

In the Stabroek News editorial [ please note: link provided by LOSP web site ] of October 15, the writer re-capped the incident that took place at Meten-Meer- Zorg Primary School, where seven students were injured recently.

Although this was an unfortunate incident, the Ministry of Education is indeed thanking their lucky stars that more students were not injured.

It is obvious that in an emergency situation, such as the collapse of the stair, funds have to and will be made available to begin work immediately. It is quite unfair that the Editor should imply that the Ministry and the Region had no money to repair the school, but that upon the collapse of the stairs, they found funds.

It is, however, important to note that, as the writer partly pointed out, schools around the country have been in a state of disrepair for decades.

Having said that, credit should be given where it is due. The Ministry of Education, along with the other agencies, should be given credit for repairs carried out to schools and new schools that were built over the last eight years. Just to name a few, in Region 3, Patentia, Stewartville, Crane, Wakenaam and Vreed-en-Hoop, while in Region 4, Beterverwagting, Graham's Hall, Golden Grove, Sophia, Plaisance and St Paul's Primary, are good examples.

However, not mentioned in this letter are schools in other Regions where extensive repairs and rebuilding were done. It would have been good if the Editor could have pointed out three things:

1. When the school in question was built, when it was last repaired, and when the present administration took office.

2. The size of the community then and the size of the community now, including the four or so new housing schemes which were set up under the present administration, and

3. The last time a school mapping exercise was done with a view to serving the educational needs of communities better.

It is only fair to say that the present government inherited an enormous number of dilapidated schools around the country and is now tasked with repairing or rebuilding them all.

Yours faithfully,

Elizabeth Greene

Editor's note

Nowhere in the editorial was it implied that the ministry had no money to repair the school. The region had, however, told the PTA that there was no money in the budget.

As to the repairs referred to in the letter, the editorial pointed out that hundreds of schools have been rehabilitated by the government. One of the main points of the editorial was that the regional administration had failed to heed the concerns raised by citizens about the condition of the school.