‘Are all schools ready for new academic year?’

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Would all the country’s schools be ready for the start of the new academic year, to begin on September 5?

If not, what is the status with respect to schools that are being repaired or improved?

Former Education Minister Dr. Tim Gopeesingh has asked about the “realistic expectations” of his successor Anthony Garcia with respect to the reopening of schools.

Gopeesingh, in a media statement, said an update is “particularly crucial” in light of the fact that repair works by the Education Facilities Company Ltd., began during August.

He also noted the “major and extended disruptions of classes” during the recent year for school repairs in spite of Garcia’s “earlier guarantees .. of uninterrupted classes at all schools.”

He said that more than 20 schools had “significant classroom interruptions” during the recent school term, some for several weeks.

In certain cases, the ex-minister added, parents engaged in public demonstrations “to secure the requisite repairs.”

Gopeesingh said that if certain schools would not be ready for the start of the term Garcia must indicate the reasons, the expected opening dates and alternative arrangements.

He stated: “There must be credible justification for any stumbling block to the education of our country’s students.”

He also called for an update on several other education matters, including whether there are plans to issue computer laptops to students.

Further, the former minister asked whether the government would resume the school building programme and whether the after-school homework centres would be reopened.

He also wants to know if beneficiaries of the School Feeding Programme would be guaranteed nutritious meals.

Gopeesingh called on Garcia to account on “the crucial matters impacting this vital sector.”

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