Anushka deserves to be celebrated

Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly - Sureash Cholai
Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly - Sureash Cholai

THE EDITOR: Congratulations to Anushka Singh, her parents and the principal and staff of the Gandhi Memorial Vedic School on placing first in the Secondary Examination Assessment (SEA).

The sad thing is that this information could only be accessed after invoking the child's right to know her results. Up to now no real excuse has been given as to why the minister refused to name the top students. And no, we do not buy what was being sold as an excuse that there was a mix-up the year before and two medals had to awarded.

While the Rowley-led PNM administration was applauded for appointing bright and vibrant Richie Sookhai to the Senate, it must now bend its head in shame for denying a young bright Indian Hindu child the accolades she has worked so hard for.

Our education system is based on meritocracy, it is based on excellence in education. On the day of the exam it is student and the paper, nothing more. Anushka excelled and she deserves to be celebrated. I am saddened, though, for the other 199 students who will always wonder how they placed.

Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly cites that to avoid trauma the results are not made public. However, it is not as though they are naming the children who scored below 40 per cent. That would understandably be traumatic for the children concerned and the PNM Government.

Thank God for Basdeo Panday whose UNC administration gave students the right to query their marks and access information pertaining to themselves. If it were not for this bit of legislation this child would never have accessed her marks and would never have know that she topped the country.

Dr Rowley himself is an outstanding academic and so too Gadsby-Dolly. I am yet to understand why they would deny a child her just due.

Why was the Government hiding the results? How can it recruit young talented Hindus and at the same time try to hide the results of Hindu children as the top performing SEA student and deny the Vedic board and teachers their day in the sun?

Now more than ever parents must use the courts to protect themselves. If you feel you were denied a position based on bias, find refuge in the courts. We must never forget the Maha Sabha radio licence and the Trinity Cross issues that were fought at the highest court, the Privy Council.

There are also so many cases where Government denied promotions to qualified individuals based on a whim or fancy that had to be settled in court.

There has over the years been a systematic abuse of power by the PNM Government to deny Indians their place in society and now it is doing it to our children. Why are we not more outraged?

Congratulations to MP Saddam Hosein who guided the family through the fact-finding mission and sought justice for his constituent.

The lesson is clear: all clear-thinking citizens must band together to stand together because in TT every creed and race do not yet find an equal place.

God bless all our students.

Pundit Satyanand Maharaj

via e-mail

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"Anushka deserves to be celebrated"

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