Following the destruction of the North West Secondary School by fire on Friday last, a team from the Ministry of Education conducted a two-day visit to Region One, Mabaruma Sub-district.
The purpose of the visit was to assess the extent of the damage caused by the fire and to put a system in place for the reopening of the school. The team from Central Ministry comprised of Chief Education Officer, Dr. Marcel Hutson, Deputy Chief Education Officer (AHED), Mr. Marti DeSouza, Chief Schools Inspector, Mr. Saddam Hussain, Coordinator of the Schools Board Secretariat, Mr. Roopnarine Tewari and Technical Facilitator, Mr. Kerwin Jacobs.
The Regional Education Officer, Mr. Akbar Chindu and Education Officer, Ms. Fareeda Jacobis also participated in the site visit and subsequent meetings. On Sunday, a meeting was held with the Regional Chairman, Mr. Brentnol Ashley, Regional Executive Officer, Mr. Tikaram Bisesar along with an engineer attached to the Region.
The CEO, Dr. Hutson noted that the Ministry of Education considers schooling for the students of the North West Secondary as a top priority and that the visit was being made to activate a plan of action that will be implemented to ensure students are meaningfully engaged.
Regional Chairman, Mr. Brentnol Ashley said that over 60% of the building was destroyed. He added that the region is committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure all temporary sites are adequately equipped and operationalized to facilitate the teaching-learning process. He said that this will be done while the process of renovating or constructing a new school building will be expedited.
The MoE team also met with the Senior Leadership Team of the school on Sunday while on Monday, separate meetings were held with the teachers of the school and the parents of the students at the Mabaruma Primary School.
At both meetings, Dr. Hutson underscored the effects of the destruction of the building while noting the need of ensuring learning continuity for the displaced students.
In addition, the Headteacher (ag), Ms. Indra Chacon highlighted the drafted operational schedule to guide face-to-face interaction while allowing parents and teachers to share their views. Based on feedback, all teachers and parents present were in support of the operational plan.
Some of the decisions taken following the meetings include the continued use of the dormitory with a new entrance being created for safe access, Grade 10 teachers will work one additional hour in the morning and afternoon sessions, a designated area at the Learning Resource Centre will house the administrative section of the school and that each identified temporary site will be supervised by a senior member of staff.