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Parents of school-aged children living on the East Bank of Berbice in Region 6 (East Berbice/Corentyne) have reported that they are reeling from hardships created by the abrupt removal of the school bus which had been assigned to the area.
Residents said their troubles began on the recent opening of schools.
“This bus was presented for work on the East Bank of Berbice in 2016 and had been working all along, much to the benefit of all the school-aged children in the area this was up to when school was closed due to COVID-19, a resident who requested anonymity said..
The bus remained parked outside the Police Station at Sisters another village in the area. The resident said just a little over a month after the fully functioning vehicle was parked some people showed up and removed the engine.
Two months after that they returned and towed the shell of the bus away and parked the shell outside of the Office of the Regional Democratic Council of Region 6 in New Amsterdam. “Since then, that is where it remains and we understand the condition is deteriorating.”
The resident reiterated: “That bus used to pick up children along the villages and take them to school in New Amsterdam or along the way free of charge.. Now there is no bus and parents have to pay as much as $1000 a day for their children especially the secondary aged school children to go to school in New Amsterdam. There is no secondary school on East Bank Berbice. There is no other means of transportation except for hire cars and privately owned vehicles. The transportation cost for one child is $1000 a day i.e: is $500 going and $500 returning home. If its three children that amounts to $3000 a day for parents. This is unbearable. We want the free school bus service to be returned,” the resident said.
Efforts to contact Regional Executive Officer of Region 6 Mr. Narinedat Persaud and /or Ms Bhagmatie La Cruz Regional Education Officer, for a comment on this issue proved futile since both were reported by their Secretaries as being unavailable for comment.