“I THOUGHT he was going to kill me.”
With these words, teacher Angel Narine, 28, related yesterday how she came face to face with death when an armed bandit confronted her at the Jordan Hill Presbyterian primary school as children were arriving for classes.
The bandit accosted Narine, a trainee teacher, at 7.20 am, pressed a gun against her stomach and told her to hand over the keys to her Nissan NP 300 Frontier (TDP 4924).
“I had just drove into the compound and parked. I was taking some things from the back seat when I saw this man walk towards the van and walk up to me. He just walked right up to me, put the gun against my stomach and said, ‘don’t say anything, just hand me the keys’,” Narine said.
Narine, who has been teaching at the school only for the past month, said she froze. “I saw the gun and in my mind I was thinking he could just take the things and let me live. A vehicle is replaceable but my life isn’t.”
She handed over the keys to her $240,000 van which she purchased less than a year ago and the bandit drove off in the direction of Ste Madeleine.
This is the second attack on a teacher, at a school compound this week. Narine who is on the verge of completing her Bachelors degree in education said she was very thankful that neither she, nor any student and parent were hurt during the hold-up.
“This was a criminal who saw an opportunity and took it. I have two weeks left at this school as part of my practical training for my degree.
I usually come between 7.30 and 7.45 am but I went early today because my lecturer was supposed to visit the school and I wanted to give my students a surprise lesson by hiding learning materials in their desk. I guess I was the one who got the surprise in the end,” Narine said.
President of the TT Unified Teachers’ Association Lynsley Doodhai appealed for more stringent guarding of schools. “We are going to ask the Ministry of Education to review security arrangements at that school as there is only one guard to control two entrances...that is inadequate. We understand the Student Support Services will also be providing counselling at the school for children and teachers,” Doodhai said.
Minister in the Ministry of Education Dr Lovell Francis yesterday described the robbery as a “shame.” He said, “It is a shame that a teacher has to suffer this fate on a school compound. I am very disconcerted by the action of this man.
The last thing the ministry wants is for teachers to feel unsafe.” Up to press time, the van was still unaccounted for.
Constable Balgobin of Princes Town CID is continuing investigations.