A 12-year-old Santa Rosa Primary National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) student had already started the first exam Wednesday when invigilators and education officials escorted him out; the child has been left traumatized because of the incident.
The child’s relative spoke with the News Room via telephone Friday and explained that the family was afraid to send the child to write the exams.
“For us it came as a plain discrimination.
“The morning we sent him for the exam, we were afraid at first because we didn’t want anything like that to happen to him.
“We have been facing a lot of stigma and discrimination for the past couple of weeks and we were scared that it would happen to him,” the relative explained.
The student was eager and anxious to write the exams as he has been preparing and studying hard. The relative said the child was traumatized about the whole incident and refused to eat.
“He was already seated in the room, his temperature and everything was checked, he had already written his name on his paper,” the relative said.
The child, along with his parents and other family members, were tested for COVID-19 three weeks ago. The parents’ results came back positive along with two family members but the child and his two other siblings tested negative.
Public Relations Officer at the Ministry of Education, Brushell Blackman told the News Room Thursday that the child was supposed to be in quarantine and the Regional Health Officials would have subsequently advised that the child not be allowed to write the exams.
Blackman said going forward the child will “be taken care of” in terms of being placed at a secondary school closest to his home and a year later write the Ministry’s placement exams.
Over 14,000 NGSA students across Guyana wrote the exams last Wednesday and Thursday.
Santa Rosa in Region One is the largest populated Amerindian village in Guyana and is now the hotspot for COVID-19 with over 70 confirmed cases and one death. The students in the village did not attend school in order to prepare for the exams as a number of teachers tested positive for the disease.
The village will be proceeding on a total lockdown from Saturday, July 5 for two weeks.
This is the fourth lockdown that will be implemented in the village as residents are not adhering to the guidelines, claiming that the disease does not exist.