“Beyond devastating” – Manickchand as fire guts Christ Church Secondary; over 500 students affected

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

Over 500 children are now affected after a fire of unknown destroyed the Christ Church Secondary School located Camp and Middle Streets, Georgetown.

The fire erupted at around 17:30hrs and within minutes, flames had engulfed the buildings located in the school’s compound. Despite the best efforts of the firefighters, the blaze ravaged the age-old wooden structures.

It was only on the afternoon of January 4 that firefighters battled a small fire at the school, which was determined to be a chemical fire started in the science lab.

Education Minister Priya Manickchand told INews that following that fire, the school did an inspection and received a certificate saying that the building was properly wired.

“So, I’m waiting to see what is the reason for this fire,” Manickchand expressed.

According to the Education Minister, the act of deliberately setting a school on fire should be treated as the worst form of criminality.

“Anybody who sets a school on fire and endangers children’s education should be treated as the worst type of criminal,” she argued.

The Minister highlighted that the consequences of this fire are long-term, reminding too that the students writing CXC this year are significantly impacted since their SBAs, study materials, and other critical documents are now completely destroyed.

“This is going to cause a lot of problems to the children,” Manickchand said.

“It is beyond devastating.”

A meeting is scheduled for tomorrow among stakeholders, including teachers, to plot a way forward. Manickchand said they will be, among other things, discussing accommodation for the students. She noted too that authorities already have a couple possible sites in mind.

Last year, the St George’s High School was destroyed by fire and the year before, a section of the North Ruimveldt Multilateral School was also destroyed by fire.

The North West Secondary School was also in 2021 destroyed by fire, determined to have been arson. Contracts have already been awarded for the reconstruction of the North West and North Ruimveldt schools.