Mocha school in need of fixing, Pres. Ali promises aid

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Several issues at the Mocha primary in the community of Mocha/ Arcadia on the East Bank of Demerara (EBD) were raised with President Dr. Irfaan Ali on Sunday and in turn, the President promised to address these issues.

Oddessa Wilson, a mother of a Grade Six pupil with a disability, lamented that the school is not wheelchair accessible and as such, her son is unable to attend classes.

“… it’s very hard because he’s not getting face to face learning,” the mother told the News Room.

She was among the first concerned residents to meet with President Ali on Sunday during his community outreach. And the Head of State promised that he will work along with the Education Ministry and engineers to figure out how this problem can be resolved with much alacrity.

The mother welcomed this and said that making schools more accessible for children with disabilities should be a countrywide effort. Her son has difficulties walking and uses a wheelchair to travel around.

President Dr. Irfaan Ali meeting with Oddessa Wilson and her son (Photo: News Room/ September 11, 2022)

But that’s not all.

There were complaints about the limited fans and poor internet service at school. These struggles, coupled with the general cramped layout there, saw teachers and parents alike complaining to Dr. Ali.

To this end, he said that he would ask Education Minister Priya Manickchand to assess the school’s situation.

Based on that assessment, he said the government could make the necessary budgetary allocations to extend the building.

Additionally, he promised that fans would be provided immediately while officials from the Office of the Prime Minister would be dispatched immediately to fix the internet woes.

What was a major issue also was the state of the recreational facility at the school. The field was in evident need of much rehabilitation and the leisure/ play facilities were dilapidated.

“We have develop this recreational facility immediately.

“We need to develop this facility so that our children can play in a safe way,” President Ali said.

And so, to fix this issue, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Charles Ramson and a team will visit the space later this week and will decide on how the facility can be fixed.

Addressing the issues at the school were part of the much wider community outreach focus. President Ali assured the residents that the government is interested in improving their well-being as opposed to focusing narrowly on party politics.

“We must not lock ourselves out of these opportunities by subjecting ourselves to narrow thinking.

“I am not here to tell you that I want you to vote for the PPP, I am here to tell you that I want all of you to benefit from the PPP in government,” Dr. Ali said.

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