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Updated: Two arrested for shooting death of former Chief Education Officer Olato Sam

Last Updated on Friday, 4 August 2023, 7:26 by Denis Chabrol

Olatto Sam.

Former Chief Education Officer Dr. Olato Sam was shot dead early Friday morning on the Plaisance Line Top,  the Ministry of Education confirmed.

Ironically, up to the time of his passing he was finalising a plan for the Ministry of Education to combat school violence.

“He was working on several things but particularly a holistic national plan for addressing violence in schools is what he was finalizing to present again to me,” Minister of Education Priya Manickchand said on her Facebook page.

The shooting incident involving two other men reportedly occurred at about 12:10 AM.

In a statement issued at 7:14 AM concerning the incident involving Dr Sam,53,  who was Education Specialist within the Ministry of Education up to the time of his passing, police confirmed that the victim fell to the ground after sounds of what appeared to be gunshots.

“At about 12:10 hrs this morning, a fight broke out between two men on the opposite sides of the bar. Two loud explosions, which sounded like gunshots, were heard from the direction of the two men.

A few seconds later, Olato Sam fell on the ground, and his friends rendered assistance and took him to the GPHC, where he was pronounced dead on arrival by a doctor on duty. The body was examined and what appeared to be a gunshot wound was seen to the upper left side chest,” police said in a statement.

He was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital by one of the persons he was socialising with and was pronounced dead on arrival.

Police said the two persons, who were allegedly fighting, have been arrested. Sources identified them as Robert Daniels of Victoria Road,  Plaisance and Frank Yorrick of 78 Prince Williams Street Plaisance. So far, no gun has been recovered and investigators were trying to ascertain which one of them discharged the rounds.

The Ministry of Education, in a statement,  noted that Dr. 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.

The Education Ministry said: “It is with deep sadness that the Education Family learned of the death of Dr. Olato Sam who up to the time of his passing served as Education Specialist within the Ministry of Education. He also served as Chief Education Officer from 2011 to 2016.

The Honourable Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand and the staff of the Ministry of Education extend sincerest condolences to Dr. Sam’s wife, family, friends, colleagues and the entire education fraternity.

During his years in the sector, Dr. Sam demonstrated success in programme management while keeping abreast of educational innovations. He was a superb team player and motivator who used a developmental approach to enhancing educational outcomes.

During his tenure as CEO, Mr. Sam provided leadership to the professional arm of the Ministry and devised education policies in collaboration with the Minister of Education, Education Officers and other stakeholders. 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.”

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August 2023