Child Rights Head decry lack of secondary schools in riverain communities


The Rights of the Child Commission (RCC) has raised concerns over the lack of adequate secondary schools in riverain communities.

Chairperson of the Commission, Aleema Nasir said the decision to close several ‘Primary tops’ within the communities have led to many school dropouts.

She was at the time addressing the opening of the Child Rights and Independence Workshop on Thursday morning, being held at the Herdmanston Lodge.

Nasir said the RCC held an outreach mission to Region Ten just two weeks ago. In the Berbice River, she said residents of Sand Hills, Kimbia, and Kalkuni called for a secondary school in either of the communities.

“The residents have lamented the severe difficulties of children receiving Secondary Education at either Kwakwani or New Amsterdam and see the right of their children to education as compromised,” Nasir told the gathering, which included Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo and Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs, Valerie Garrido- Lowe.

The Chairperson said families are forced to migrate to ensure their children are educated. She alluded to complaints received from residents of communities in the Demerara River as it related to the closure of schools referred to as ‘Primary tops.’

In addressing the concerns of Nasir, Minister Garrido-Lowe, who herself is a product of a ‘Primary top’, agreed that students also respond better to attending schools within their communities.

She said the Government is looking to “bring back” some of the ‘Primary tops’ as it seeks to make education decentralized.

Meanwhile, Nasir also addressed the need for speedy trials for young offenders as she pointed to cases where young people spend years on remand. In this regard, she noted that collaborations are ongoing with the Guyana Police Force and the Legal Aid Clinic.

The RCC will also be visiting the Timehri Prison on Friday to engage young offenders.

This is the third Child Rights and Independence workshop to be held. The aim is to discuss the progress made over the years to further the rights of Guyanese children in the Security, Education and Justice Sectors.

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