By Glo Hoyte
MP Montgomery Daniel, after Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA) results are released and children are placed at secondary schools, the most common question among parents of students in Fancy is, “Where would my child stay if s/he attends school in Kingstown?”
Minister, an Aug. 11, 2022 iWitness News article captioned “New school buses to service N. Windward, N. Leeward” quoted you as saying:
“… the transport officer in the Ministry of Transport and Works … has already had requests from as far as Fancy, where there are children coming to Kingstown from Fancy and we are trying to work out as to what we think is most feasible in having children from as far as Fancy coming on a daily basis into Kingstown from that area.”
Minister Daniel, NO child from Fancy travels on a daily basis to attend secondary school in Kingstown or its environs.
One of my sons tried travelling DAILY, the 70 miles return between Fancy and Kingstown and it was too demanding. It simply didn’t work.
Additionally, I know of students who attended schools in Kingstown who had to be transferred to school closer to their homes because accommodation also became an issue.
I know of past Fancy students studying in Kingstown who had to change residences many times in an effort to complete their secondary education at the schools they attended.
It is a financial, emotional and mental strain on both parents and students, and I am sure, at times, teachers may wonder why a student with potential is unproductive, constantly has headaches, sleeps in class or, on occasions, is hungry.
A child travelling to Kingstown from Fancy has to wake up about 3 a.m. to prepare for school and sometimes leaves home without breakfast, depending on the family’s financial situation.
The child gets home at about 7 p.m., and barely has time or might be too tired from that FOUR HOURS (two hours each way) journey to do homework and prepare for school the next day.
What I would recommend, Minister, is to find suitable accommodation(s) for children from Fancy to stay in Kingstown.
This way, employment may be created for four parents (two males, two females) from Fancy to be guardians of these students, on a rotating basis.
Additionally, Mr. Daniel, Fancy is a talented community. especially in sports and the arts. As a result, some students would want to continue after school activities that they began at the primary school level or extracurricular activities offered at their secondary school.
Travelling daily, the children would not enjoy this privilege as at the end of the school day, ‘just before the last school bell rings’ they have to board the bus to travel back to Fancy.
Maybe accommodating the students is something we can look at for next school year. I think this arrangement would be less costly as well to the parents and to the government.
In my humble opinion, transporting Fancy students daily is not feasible nor is it worthwhile nor productive if we really wish to see our students reach their truest potential.
As Fancy battles through this season of RESPAIR, I ask that you, Minister Daniel, as our area representative, consider my suggestion, which I strongly believe is the best way to assist Fancy students enrolled in school in Kingstown and to motivate our upcoming students to perform and excel.
I also believe that this recommendation would impact our community greatly and benefit our country.
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