Fire still a mystery but most St George’s students placed in time for school reopening

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With schools expected to reopen in September, most of the St George’s High school students who were displaced as a result of a fire are assigned to new schools and received their “Because we care” cash grants.

Chief Education Officer (CEO), Dr Marcel Hutson told the News Room on Tuesday that most of the students were given spots at different schools for the new school year.

Dr Hutson said, “most of them have been placed at catchment schools. They received their numbers, they received their cash grant also and they were placed.”

In July, scores of parents of students attending the school turned out at the Education Ministry’s Brickdam office to register their children for a position at another school after the St George’s High school was destroyed by fire.

Asked about the report from the Guyana Fire Service on the origin of the fire, the CEO said, “We have not received any report on that from the Fire Service.”

“We have not heard anything from them since. Sometimes these things take time to clarify trying to make sure that the report is accurate.”

Chief Education Officer, Dr. Marcel Hutson

Education Minister, Priya Manickchand during the initial registration process said 225 learners were registered for a spot. This is more than half of the 421 students who were registered there. She also met with the teachers of the school with the objective of ensuring these teachers were not in the dark about their next steps for the new school year.

Parents and students said their main concern at the time was that the students are placed at a school in proximity to where they live. In addition, parents said the transition from one school to another, a strange one at that, could affect the children’s learning process.

A fire of unknown origin ravaged St George’s High school on July 20. A teacher and students were inside the school when the fire erupted at around 13:30 hrs. The fire quickly engulfed the upper half of the wooden structure before it spread and eventually destroyed the building, making it one less historic wooden structure in Guyana. The school was well-known for its historic link to the St George’s Cathedral, next door.

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