FAILURE by the Ministry of Education to attend a stakeholder’s meeting with parents of beleaguered Couva West Secondary school led to a walkout on Thursday afternoon.
Over 300 parents prematurely ended the meeting after representatives from the Ministry of Education failed to show.
Frustrated by the prolonged closure of the school since October 2019, the parents have decided to begin a period of protest action from Friday morning until the school is reopened.
Vincent Boyce said the Minister in the Ministry of Education Dr Lovell Francis along with the School Supervisor III and other stakeholders had confirmed their attendance to be at the meeting which was organised by the National Parent Teachers Association (NPTA).
The meeting was scheduled for 4.30 pm at the old Couva Junior Secondary building.
However, when parents turned up to the meeting seeking answers as to when their children can return to classes, the only people present to field their questions were the principals, teachers and members of the PTA.
“This is disrespect,” Boyce said.
“They did not show and sent no excuses for their absence. The principal and staff answered questions, but they gave the same answers they have been giving right through. We want to know from the MOE when the school will be opened and when our children will be going back.”
Boyce said he has one daughter who is a Form Five students, scheduled to write the CSEC exams in a few months.
“She is not ready for the exams,” he said.
He said the parents have decided on a course of protest action, “because we are civilised people. We don’t want to burn debris and block the roads. We just want an education for our kids.”
He reminded the government, “this is an election year and my one vote could mean staying in or out of power. I lost out under the last regime because I did not get a public house, and you know what I may lose out again but it is a sacrifice I am willing to make because I am a parent and I love children. I am a parent for all children.”
Reached by telephone, an official from the Ministry of Education said Francis was delayed by the President’s Medal Award ceremony.
“The minister apologises and promised to reschedule a meeting with the parents.”