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Oropouche East MP, Dr. Roodal Moonilal, is pleading with Education Minister Anthony Garcia, to act swiftly to open the Ramai Trace Hindu School in the constituency of Oropouche East. This school was 90 percent completed in 2015 when the People’s Partnership Government demited office.

He said about  300 students have to travel to a temple over an hour away at Penal Rock Road every day for school. Students, parents, the Member of Parliament, the Councillor and concerned residents of the area have staged numerous placard bearing protests.

That included journeying to Port of Spain in March 2017 to protest in front of the Parliament building. On that occasion both Ministers Garcia and junior Minister Dr Lovell Francis pledged to have the school reopened for the new school year in September 2017. That did not materialize. Several questions have been asked in Parliament on this matter with little results.

Moonilal added, “In the meanwhile, the students have had to wrap their heads around the baffling problem  of why it is taking longer to finish 10 percent of a school.  Today, we hear of $ 16 million spent to refurbish the Stollmeyer’s castle to view paintings while the government could not find money to complete the school. So now the children of Penal and Debe don’t have a school but can go to the castle to view paintings.

“During this time, the Government has completed the Tarouba Stadium, renovated Stollmeyer’s Castle, and  paid a Minister’s Sexual Harassment lawsuit.

“Minister of Education Anthony Garcia has said the remaining works at the school will take another year to complete but if we are to judge Minister Garcia by his performance  and the priorities of  this government, the school will be finished just in time  for the students to collect  their pension. It is a case of terribly misplaced priorities!!! How can the government find $100 million to fix the Tarouba Stadium but cannot complete a school or open a hospital? That stadium was used for one fete match and closed since then.

“The Rowley Administration is demonstrating a Napoleanic affinity for imperial pursuits as opposed to providing the basic goods and services to the people. Not surprising therefore that children don’t have schools, villages don’t have water, but we have castles and paintings to savor.”

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