Following reports that teachers’ quarters in Port Kaituma, Region One (Barima-Waini) are being vandalized and stolen items, the Ministry of Education has since committed to replace all stolen items from the teachers affected.
It is reported that teachers’ quarters were broken in during the holiday season and items stolen from two teachers. It was announced, via social media, by the affected teachers and noted that this is not the first time they have been stolen.
One of the affected teachers had highlighted that they would have written letters to the Education Department in the District highlighting the issues with a quarter of the teachers but no action had been taken.
“The thief easily ripped my kitchen window mesh and then my twin locked door went on to rearrange the apartment… there was actually an attempt to break in on September 10, 2020. The relevant authorities were alerted by letters thinking they’d at least put some iron grills on the windows but nothing was done … I’m sick and tired of writing letters through the channel and waiting on the ‘process’. This is my breaking point as a teacher dedicated to serving the hinterland, ”said the teacher.
The Ministry of Education said that Minister Priya Manickchand, having become aware of the issue, intervened and reached out to the affected teachers and assured them that the stolen items will be replaced.
To date, the Barima-Waini Education Department has replaced all stolen diet, cleaning and other items. However, the electronic items that could not be accessed in the Region have been ordered externally, and those items will be in the Region before the end of this week, the Ministry assured.
In addition, repairs were carried out to the damaged building during the burglary. The steel mesh on the windows was reinforced and a promise was made to install grill barriers soon.
The Department of Education in the District has made arrangements for security guards to be rotated so that they can also guard the flats during the evenings until additional guards can be found.
The Deputy Chief Education Officer (DCEO) – Amerindian and Hinterland Education Development, Marti DeSouza and Regional Education Officer Nigel Richards visited the teachers and inspected the flats.
The new items were handed over to the affected teachers and were secured from the support of the District and Ministry to ensure their safety. The local Police Department has agreed to carry out regular checks / patrols in the neighborhood, especially during the evenings.
Subsequently, the teacher who highlighted the issue on social media expressed his gratitude for the assistance provided following the incident.