Dr. Roopnaraine reassigned over poor performance; President acted prematurely- WPA

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The Working People’s Alliance (WPA) has lauded candidates who sat the 2017 National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA), crediting some of the measures implemented by former Minister of Education, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine for the improved grades.

Dr. Rupert Roopnarine- Minister of Education

Outlining several improvements in the NGSA results and the wider education sector, the WPA is of the view that an injustice was done to its member, Dr. Roopnaraine and the President may have acted prematurely when he reassigned him to the Public Service Ministry.

“It is now open knowledge that the Minister was removed from the position for lack of performance. You in the media would remember that many of us speculate that he might have been removed for ill health. Now it is out in the open that he was removed for lack of performance and the WPA went back and look at what Dr. Roopnaraine has done in the Ministry for the last two years,” Executive Member, Dr. David Hinds said. He was as peaking at a Press Conference on Tuesday (June 04, 2017) at the party’s office in Queenstown.

Chair of the WPA, Tabitha Sarabo-Halley outlined several initiatives undertaken by the party’s member, Dr. Roopnaraine during his tenure at the Ministry.

“WPA would be remiss if it did not draw attention to the linkage between these improved results and the removal of Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine, ostensibly for satisfactory performance. If performance is measured by tangible outcomes, Dr. Roopnaraine clearly did not perform too badly,” Sarabo-Halley outlined, reading from a prepared statement. She further outlined a number of measures implemented by the Ministry while the WPA member was at its helm, including the reenergizing of the Parent-Teachers Associations (PTAs).

Asked what they would like to see be done about the issue, the WPA members said the president should acknowledge publicly that the former Education Minister performed creditably.

They are also of the view that Dr. Roopnaraine was not given the full chance to carry out the vision which he had outlined for the Ministry.

The party also congratulated the parents and teachers for their support to the students. At the same time, however, it calls on the Government to increase teachers’ salaries and working conditions.

“Teachers need much more institutional support and…call on the Government to make this an area of special emphasis. Clearly, improved wages and habitable working conditions are a priority. If the improvement we see this year is to be replicated at all levels and within the future, investments in teachers must be instant,” the party’s Chair outlined.

The results of the NGSA were released last Friday at which Chief Education Officer (CEO), Marcel Hutson disclosed that the overall performance across the regions has improved significantly.

It did not go unnoticed that private education institutions dominated the top positions. In this regard, the party which forms part of APNU renewed its call for the revocation of the 14% Value Added Tax (VAT) on Private education.

“The results should be a further reminder that the VAT on private education should be urgently reviewed.”

The Ministry of Education on Friday (June 30, 2017) released the results of the 2017 NGSA examinations with 12-year-old Saskia Twahir of the School of the Nations copping the top spot. She achieved a score of 524, earning her a spot at the country’s prestigious secondary school, Queen’s College.

Students from private institutions also dominated the top 20 positions in the country.

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