Saturday 21 September, 2019

Councillor: Children suffering, open Ramai Trace Hindu School

Photo courtesy Barrackpore West Councillor Kumarie Kuarsingh.

Photo courtesy Barrackpore West Councillor Kumarie Kuarsingh.

Parents of students attending the Ramai Trace Hindu School have continued to protest the non-opening of the school, which is currently 95 complete. 

The school grounds are currently overrun with bushes and vines, with reports that it has become a pasture for cows and goats to graze. 

The parents are calling for the completion and subsequent opening of the school in the shortest possible time as their children continue to be accommodated in cramped conditions with less-than-desirable facilities. 

Barrackpore West Councillor Kumarie Kuarsingh has joined in that call, lamenting the plight of students who continued to be housed at the Hanuman Milan Mandir which reportedly has inadequate washroom facilities for over 200 students who have had their classes relocated there since 2015.

 

Photo courtesy Councillor Kumarie Kuarsingh.

Kuarsingh said the overcrowding situation has led to serious health and safety concerns as children have been falling ill.  

"Students as young as five years old continue the heart-breaking routine of arising as early as 5am to travel over an hour away to the temple. They continue to endure extremely cramped makeshift classrooms, insufficient washroom facilities and a 34km roundtrip daily which has led to serious overcrowding, health and safety issues and several students falling ill."

The councillor noted that parents have been staging protests calling for the completion of the school since 2016.

The response, she said, has been met with the same from Education Minister Anthony Garcia in spite of the parents' continued demonstrations, and, to date, the school continues to remain closed.

Kuarsingh is calling on the Minister to give an immediate response on the resumption of works at the long-awaited primary school as she said students have suffered for too long.

Below is the full statement from the Barrackpore West Councillor:

It has been an agonizing four years since the students of the Ramai Trace Hindu School were temporarily relocated to the Hanuman Milan Mandir at Penal Rock Road.

Students as young as five years old continue the heart-breaking routine of arising as early as 5am to travel over an hour away to the temple. They continue to endure extremely cramped makeshift classrooms, insufficient washroom facilities and a 34km roundtrip daily which has led to serious overcrowding, health and safety issues and several students falling ill.

Students, parents, the member of Parliament, the councillor and concerned residents of the area have staged numerous public protests in November 2016 at the school in Ramai Trace Debe, in March 2017 outside Parliament, and in January 2018 where there were multiple days of protest at S.S. Erin Road Debe.

In a Parliament sitting on May 4th, 2018, the Minister of Education had indicated that “the completion of this school is of priority and steps have been implemented towards the resumption of works in the shortest possible time.” However, after three years of assurances, the Minister’s promises never materialized and the school which is 95 per cent complete has been abandoned and overgrown with bushes while the suffering and distress of the innocent students continue.

Today I call upon the Minister of Education to give an immediate response on the resumption of works. The students, parents and residents of Ramai Trace, Debe deserve an answer and I urge Mr. Garcia to bring an end to the daily misery of students by completing the Ramai Trace Hindu Primary School.

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