With a ratio of one teacher to 50 pupils at the Fifth Company Baptist Primary school, as reported in today’s Newsday editorial, this PNM administration, it appears, cares little about the interests of Baptists in general and its supporters in particular.
“Why would this administration place such low priority on the education of the children of Fifth Company? One teacher to 50 pupils is unacceptable and students will not get the individual attention needed to ensure their academic success,” says MP Charles, who served for more than a decade, many years ago as secretary of the school’s Board. Charles’ father also attended and taught for years at the school, which was massively renovated during the first UNC administration led by Basdeo Panday.
There is a common belief that London Baptists are diehard supporters of the PNM.
Therefore, this callous neglect is difficult to understand given the likelihood of a second Local Government election for the nearby Electoral District of Lengua/Indian Walk which borders the school.
The second recount in the recent election resulted in a tie and a decision for fresh elections. The UNC has questioned a ballot which was in favour of the UNC but was not initialled by the Presiding Officer and therefore not counted. The matter is before the courts.
Pupils of that Electoral District, especially Baptists, form crucial parts of the catchment area of Fifth Company Baptist School.
The PNM candidate for Lengua/Indian Walk Rev Autly Granthume preaches at the nearby Mt Pleasant London Baptist Church at Indian Walk.
MP Charles is calling on this PNM administration to do right by the people of the area and fix the school, which according to reports has an unacceptable shortage of teachers but more so shows all the hallmarks of wilful neglect of its physical infrastructure.