Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Girlyn Miguel (File photo)

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – A teacher who had “borrowed” monies  students deposited into a school co-operative account was given a choice: repay it or go to prison.

Education Minister Girl Miguel made the disclosure in Parliament on Thursday as she spoke of the challenges she encountered while trying to promote a cooperative at a school that she did not identify.

She said that she had proposed the co-operative to the school’s parent-teacher association (PTA), which felt that the idea should have been shelved.

“I went class to class and I sold the credit union message. Mr. Speaker, today, that school has a large sum of money,” said Miguel, a former head teacher.

“We cautioned our teacher and I can remember being very tough on one of them who thought he could have borrowed a child’s money. And I said, ‘It’s jail or money.’ He paid back the money and he went away,” Miguel said, adding that there are now 87 school co-operatives here.

“We thank God for our children. They are becoming thrifty. They know how to use what they have,” she further stated.

Miguel also congratulated the Co-operative Division in the Ministry of National Mobilisation and praises the “great job” that credit unions are doing “especially for the poor”.

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