THANKS to the determination of parents of students of St Mary's Government Primary School in Moruga, who went to the Education Ministry on Monday to query the results of the Junior Panorama finals, their children's school has been moved from tenth and last place, to second place.
The parents later contacted Newsday on Monday evening to say that ministry officials had confirmed to them that there was a mix-up in the score-sheets. However, at that time, Newsday was unable to confirm this claim as neither ministry nor PanTrinbago officials could be reached.
However, Pan Trinbago president Beverley Ramsey-Moore, when contacted by Newsday on Tuesday, confirmed the mix-up and said that St Mary's placed second behind Guaico Presbyterian, while another Moruga school, Santa Maria RC – who was originally placed second – was now given tenth place.
Ramsey-Moore said while she can confirm the mix-up and that St Mary's really placed second, it is the ministry whom Newsday should reach out to for any other comment or clarification.
Attempts to get a response from officials of the ministry's communications department on Tuesday were unsuccessful. Newsday contacted the principals of both St Mary's Government and Santa Maria RC, but neither wanted to comment.
When the parents visited the ministry's head office on Monday, they claimed that judges told them of the mistake.
One parent, Victoria Hamilton, said the two schools are close to each other in South Trinidad, "so maybe that is where the mix-up occurred."
She added that Santa Maria RC was supposed to perform first, but they arrived late. Hamilton added that St Mary's Government played in its initial position – sixth, but when St Mary's arrived, they played immediately before –fifth.
Hamilton said, "What we understand is that St Mary's (score) sheet would have been in front the judges instead of Santa Maria, that is what they (judges) said."
Another parent said, "A school that would normally place between first and third, all of a sudden places tenth? It's an embarrassment."
The parent said her children and many others in the school's panside stayed home from school on Monday as they were too overcome with emotion on being told they had placed last.
The parents also claimed on Monday that the results were ready before the final band had stopped playing. Usually, the parents said, results (of the junior competition) are announced during the half-way stage of the secondary school finals.
But on Sunday, they claimed, results were announced even while the final school was still playing in the finals of the primary schools competition.