Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 January 2023, 13:34 by Denis Chabrol
The hundreds of students and teachers of Christ Church Secondary School, who were displaced by last week’s fire, are to resume face-to-face classes next week at the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) complex, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Minister of Education Priya Manickchand said Tuesday.
She earlier Tuesday met with teachers, parents and guardians at the Queen’s College auditorium where she said everyone unanimously agreed to reopen classes at the CPCE Complex.
With the Guyana Fire and Rescue Service concluding that the fire was maliciously set and police saying that they are searching for a suspect, the Minister of Education urged that a law be enacted for a long jail term for those found guilty of burning down schools. “Each person who destroys a school and/or any author of said destruction once found guilty ought to be given life imprisonment. We need to legislate accordingly,” she said.
Ms Manickchand later told Demerara Waves Online News that steps are being taken to furnish that section of the CPCE Complex and partition spaces into classrooms. “We are getting ready as we speak because although the parents chose today, I didn’t really see an option so I started over the weekend,” she said.
According to her, there were “very few” requests for transfers but the majority of parents and guardians have decided to keep their students at Christ Church Secondary despite the relocation. “I’m very hopeful and feel optimistic that we can finish it by next Monday,” she said.
Pending the resumption of classes, she said students were being taught online.
The Minister of Education said Cabinet is yet to decide whether the school would be rebuilt and if so whether it would be Camp and Middle Streets or at another location.
The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) and the Ministry of Education are yet to decide on options to deal with the destruction of School Based Assessments and lab books.
Christ Church Secondary School had a student population of 502 and 39 teachers.