The Honourable Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand visited the island of Wakenaam in Region Three today to engage parents of learners attending the Arthurville Primary School to address their concerns about the deteriorating school building.
Due to the worsening condition of the school’s physical structure over the years, it was decided in March of this year to move the children and teachers out of the school and have them accommodated at the Sans Souci Primary School.
Minister Manickchand informed the parents that the Arthurville Primary School will not be shut down but rather it will be demolished and a new and modern structure will be built at the same location. The Education Minister was accompanied on today’s visit by Regional Chairman, Mr. Inshan Ayube, Assistant Chief Education Officer (Primary), Mr. Rabindra Singh, Chief Schools Inspector, Mr. Saddam Hussain and Regional Education Officer, Mr. Akbar Chindu.
She told the parents that the decision to move the children and teachers was necessary since it was determined that the building was unsafe to use. She said that a decision was made very quickly to have the children and staff moved to Sans Souci since it was the closest school with enough physical space.
The Education Minister emphasised that contrary to what they might have heard from persons outside of the education sector, there were never talks to close the school completely.
“This school is going to continue but you have to give us time to build it. I can’t know what I know and keep children and teachers here because I won’t be able to live with myself if anything is to ever happen to them,” Minister Manickchand told the parents today.
She said that every effort is being made within Central Ministry and at the Regional level to see how quickly the school can be rebuilt. Minister Manickchand said that the latest the island should expect the new school is 2023, but efforts will be made to have it completed as early as possible.
According to the Minister, in the interim, the aim is to ensure the children and teachers are comfortable and that the learners can receive their education.
Before today’s visit, one minibus was assigned to transport the children from Arthurville to Sans Souci but the decision was made today to assign another bus so that children can get to school on time and be much more comfortable while being shuttled to and from the Sans Souci Primary School.