By Ramona LuthiChief Education Officer Olato Sam shut down Brickdam Secondary School on Tuesday, in response to a sit-in by the teachers at the school last week. On Tuesday, Sam asked students to return home while requesting that teachers vacate the premises after submitting all school records.However, according to the teachers of the Secondary School, the decision to sit in was made after their numerous demands for better work and educational facilities fell on deaf ear. They highlighted that over the years, there have been scores of complaints pertaining to the hazardous and unsanitary conditions students as well as teachers are forced to dwell in on a daily basis, but nothing except emptyChief Education Officer Olato Sam at the PTA meetingpromises came from the Education Ministry.“The decision to close the school down came after the teachers took a stand for better working conditions and generally an environment that is conducive for learning. Teachers asked for these things. We’ve been asking for these things for years and it has reached to the point where it is overbearing. The students and the teachers have decided that we’ve had enough and we would like the Ministry to do something about it,” one teacher said.Meanwhile, a Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) meeting was held at St Stanislaus College on Tuesday with the Chief Education Officer, Assistant Chief Education Officer Leslyn Charles, the Principal Education Officer responsible for schools in Georgetown, the District Education Officer in Georgetown, other representatives of the Ministry, the PTA Board Chairman, scores of parents and students of the Brickdam Secondary.At the meeting, Sam highlighted that after being informed that the teachers of the Brickdam Secondary School were on strike, he, along with members of the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) and other officers of the Education Ministry, met with them on Friday last to resolve the issues. The Chief Education Officer said that it was his understanding that a compromise was made between him and the teachers whereby emergency repairs would be conducted over the weekend, and teachers would resume working for the remaining three weeks of the school’s semester, giving the Ministry time to implement permanent restoration measures at the school for the new term in September.However, on Monday, he found that this was not the situation as he was informed that the teachers still refused to work. Sam asserted that it was this that resulted in his decision to have the school closed, students relocated to other schools in order to continue their secondary education, and teachers to different educational facilities.“As a result of the teachers not working, we had to devise the best plan of action in the best interest of our students so that they get an education, complete the end-of-term assessment and everything else. And that would give us an opportunity to satisfy our teacher’s demands. We cannot allow teachers to sit in at the school for the remainder of the term when our students aren’t learning anything. It’s totally unacceptable and so our teachers have all been reassigned to other schools.”According to the Chief Education Officer, the students would be admitted to Grade “A” schools such as North Georgetown Secondary, Christ Church Secondary, Central High School and North Ruimveldt Multilateral High School for the rest of the term while the Ministry assesses its options to provide a permanent solution.However, this announcement resulted in a massive disruption within the crowd of parents as they chanted “No!” to the list of schools provided by Sam.Parents and teachers angrily expressed their frustrations towards Sam, who voiced that since the teachers refused to take the option of resuming work at Brickdam Secondary for the next three weeks and be given a permanent resolution next term, it was now “off the table”.He left the meeting shortly after declaring this, since the commotion created by parents did not quiet down.Teachers of the Secondary School told Guyana Times that they were prepared to work and would have readily accepted the condition put forward by the Chief Education Officer, had he mentioned it prior to the meeting.They voiced that their only concern revolved around better facilities for the children that they teach. The teachers asserted that the decision to have students and teachers relocated was done out of spite: “The Ministry wants to make us an example because we stood up for our rights.”It was also relayed that the Headmistress of the school refused to stand up with the teachers in their fight for better facilities.While some parents agreed with the decision to have the children relocated on a temporary basis, many refused to accept it. These parents voiced their belief that their children were being subjected to unfair treatment having been transferred to schools that were considered below the educational standard.“We have no choice. This is being shoved down our throats. We have no choice. My child has been disenfranchised because they wanna send her down to a lower school. We don’t have a choice. What is this? Is this communism? Is this the change I voted for? No. No way,” asserted a parent, Tracy Martin.
– mother blames Police for death of sonA 68-year-old woman is calling for justice after her son, Kallicharran Sawak, 39, of Lot 3 La Bonne Intention, East Coast Demerara died on Monday afternoon at the Georgetown Public Hospital where he was admitted.He was reportedly found in an unconscious state in the Sparendaam Police Station lockups on January 21, hours after he was arrested for disorderlyDead: Kallicharran Sawackbehaviour.A distraught and tearful mother, Ramdai Sawak, told this newspaper that she is hoping that a thorough investigation into her son’s death can be conducted.She explained that her son was intoxicated on Thursday evening when he started to misbehave and even broke a window in her home when she became scared and called the police.Sawak said that Police from Beterverwagting arrived at her home shortly after she called and took him over to the Sparendam Police Station where he was placed in a cell with others.The woman said that her daughter took food for him at the station on Sunday and she was not allowed to see him. The mother said that her daughter was told to leave the food because it was too early and they would give him the food.It was the following Monday that they showed up at the Court where the now dead man was expected to be. When she did not notice her son, Sawak said she enquired from a Magistrate who directed her to a police officer.It was here she was told that her son was hospitalised at the Georgetown Public Hospital in a critical condition.Still shocked, the old woman said she rushed down to the hospital where she sawSparendaam Police Stationher son in a miserable state.“We go to the Hospital and he bleeding from his eye and his head and not talking and he eye closed,” she recalled.Sawak said she was shocked to see her son, who was a welder, in that state and tried to find out what happened from the Police at the Beterverwagting Station. She said she was told, “He de behaving bad and they put he in a lock-up by heself and he de butting he head”.The mother is contending that her son is not mad and would never have done such a thing. She is, therefore, calling for an impartial investigation to be done.She said, “I don’t think he would hit he head like that but God knows. Only God knows because when he go to the hospital he couldn’t ah talk or open his eye”. The family has since sought legal advice sought from Attorney-at-Law, Anil Nandlall.Speaking with Guyana Times recently, Nandlall said that the Guyana Police Force has to give an account in relation to the injuries. According to Nandlall, the Police Complaints Authority will be briefed on this issue as he made calls for an independent probe into the situation.“Depending on how the matter unfolds, depending on what the findings are, we do not rule out the possibility of challenging the actions of the Police in the High Court or their omission to act in the circumstances to seek compensation for the injuries sustained,” the Attorney informed.
The long line of cars began piling up after police say thick fog decreased driver’s visibility, causing an incredible chain reaction. In total, 18 vehicles were involved in the crash resulting in two deaths. The accident began along the Puebla-Orizaba highway at the height of Esperanza. Federal authorities have confirmed the death of two, noting that the damage suffered by the vehicles was substantial. The highway was closed in both directions for several hours while police sorted through the metal rubble. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window) One of the vehicles involved in the crash was an AU bus line. Cars began colliding at 12:30 p.m. which is when police and ambulances rushed to the site reporting dozens of wounded. Puebla-Orizaba, Puebla — A massive 18-car pile up along a Puebla highway has left two dead and numerous others injured after thick fog rolled into the area.