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…Ministry of Education to craft plan to prevent CSEC disruption
By Alva Solomon
Fire of unknown origin gutted a section of the North Ruimvdelt Multilateral School on Saturday afternoon.
Reports are that around 13:00hrs on Saturday, persons in the area witnessed smoke billowing from the northern section of the building. Within minutes the fire spread and as the wind picked-up, the entire wing was engulfed in flames. Several classrooms: the Information Technology (IT) lab, several science labs and the Home Economics Department were destroyed.
The school has an enrolment of 512 students and 39 teachers with 65 students scheduled to write the 2021 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination starting this month end.
Minister of Education Priya Manickchand, who was the ground noted that government through the Ministry of Education will make all necessary arrangements to ensure that this incident does not disrupt students, particularly those who will be writing their CSEC examinations and committed to providing whatever support the school will need moving forward. “Officials of the Ministry of Education will meet over the next few hours to design a plan that will ensure the CSEC students are not affected and can proceed to sit their examinations in the most seamless way possible. Parents, students and teachers of the school will be updated on the decided measures within the next 48 hours,” the ministry said in a release.
An eyewitness told the Village Voice News that he was passing when he noticed part of the building on fire. He said he alerted several persons working on the roadway and someone immediately called the Guyana Fire Service. ”Was thick smoke I start seeing at this end here closer to the road but like the wind pick up and it get worse,” he said.
When the Village Voice News arrived on the scene, a fire tender was racing to towards the building. The firemen took a while to source water while several other fire tenders arrived as backup. After sometime, the firemen managed to connect their hoses to a canal close to East La Penitence where a bridge is under construction. Persons noted that the fire could have been brought under control if the fire tenders had full quantities of water. They noted that the fire spread quickly from the classroom where it was first observed. Several former students were emotional as they watched the thick inferno reduce the building to ashes. “This is me old school,” a woman said, hand akimbo. The North Ruimveldt Multilateral is one of several such schools built by the former government of the Peoples National Congress. It has produced several outstanding Guyanese and renowned for its steel band which has copped many top awards over the years.