Fmr. Chief Education Officer killed by stray bullet


Former Chief Education Officer Olato Sam was shot dead early Friday morning after he was struck by a stray bullet at the Plaisance  Railway Embankment (Line Top), East Coast Demerara (ECD).

An eyewitness told reporters that Sam and a group of friends were hanging out at the Line Top area when a fight started across the road from where the group was.

The eyewitness, who is a friend of Sam but wished to remain anonymous, said two gunshots were fired and the group decided to leave the area. But they saw Sam on the ground, nursing a gunshot wound to his chest.

Sam’s friends reportedly rushed him to the Georgetown Public Hospital but after examination, he was pronounced dead.

No other details on the incident at Plaisance are available as yet.

Meanwhile, Education Minister Priya Manickchand expressed condolences on her Facebook page.

“I am shocked and deeply saddened by the news that Olato has been shot dead. He was once Chief Education Officer with his last post being Education Specialist.

“His contribution was always valuable,” she said.

The Ministry of Education, in a Facebook post, detailed some of Mr. Sam’s contributions.

It was noted that he offered technical advice for the efficient implementation of educational policy at all learning institutions covered by the Ministry of Education and represented the Ministry’s interests in several regional and global fora.

Mr. Sam also lectured at the University of Guyana in the Masters in Education and Bachelors in Education programmes. He has served as Chairman of the Guyana School of Agriculture; Commissioner on the Teaching Service Commission, Guyana; a member of the Caribbean Examinations Council’s Final Awards Committee; Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Cyril Potter College of Education; member of the CARICOM Taskforce on Teacher Education and Training and as a member of the CARICOM Task Force on the Establishment of Teaching Councils.

As Education Specialist Mr. Sam has worked on several initiatives of the Ministry of Education. Most recently, he was working on preparing a plan to address violence in schools.

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