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Tempers Flare At Parents/Ministry Meeting

By Kingsley Emmanuel
Image of parents at Vieux Fort Primary School meeting.

TEMPERS flared Thursday at a meeting of parents and Ministry of Education officials at the Vieux Fort Primary School over the government’s decision not to accept students at the Beanfield Comprehensive Secondary School come the next academic school year.

According to the officials, the main reason for such a decision has to do with a lack of space to accommodate additional students at the school.

Image of parents at Vieux Fort Primary School meeting.
Parents at Vieux Fort Primary School meeting.

The irate parents who comprised a number of teachers and civil servants did not mince words in expressing their views about the decision.

“Liar, liar, liar…” one parent shouted at the top of her voice while the officials addressed the gathering.

“They (ministry) has no respect for us….Such a situation would never existed in the north,” another parent fumed.

The parents were told that they will now have to sign another choice form, but they made it abundantly clear that they will not do so.

Even primary school students listening to the officials from outside the building were overheard criticizing the government for its decision.

According to the parents, informing them of such a decision in the eleventh hour was grossly disrespectful.

They argued that sending their children to secondary schools out of the town of Vieux Fort would be a financial burden to them because of transportation cost.

Another argument advanced by the fuming parents is that such a decision will have a psychological effect on the students who have already focused on attending certain schools.

A third argument was that some students will not be taught certain subjects because there are subjects which are not taught in certain secondary schools in District 6.

According to the officials of the ministry, there is a school subsidy program in place to assist parents of students in District six with their transportation cost, but one parent said such a program is selective.

And from all indication the issue now appears to be a thorny one for government.

In an interview after the meeting with Michelle Daniel, a parent, she said: “This is utter disrespect. What the government doing is not right….”

She said it appears the ministry officials came to the meeting to make demands, rather than to have a discussion with parents where views can be exchanged and decisions made for the benefit of the children.

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