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Kamla urges special security for schools in crime hotspots

OPPOSITION Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar is appealing to the ministries of Education and National Security, as well as the police, to ensure that primary schools in crime hotspot areas get special security as students write the SEA examination today.

‘This year, given the unprecedented crime and violence wave that has engulfed Trinidad and Tobago, many students in schools in crime hotspots have been forced to endure trauma as gang warfare and rampant criminality persist outside their school doors in broad daylight,’ she said in a statement yesterday.

On February 19, a man was murdered outside the Gloster Lodge Moravian Primary School in Belmont at 9.10 a.m., ‘leaving students and staff traumatised to this day’, she said.

‘In light of this frightening new reality, I make a special appeal to the Ministries of Education and National Security, as well as the relevant police authorities, to ensure that all primary schools in the crime hot spot areas are given special security for this year’s SEA exams.

‘This includes police patrols and even police guards if deemed necessary, since students in these areas deserve to write these crucial exams in mental and physical comfort and safety as much as their counterparts throughout the country, to have an equal chance of progress in their academic pursuits,’ Persad-Bissessar said.

Expressing support for the boys and girls writing the exam this morning, she said, ‘As a former Minister of Education who pioneered universal secondary education in T&T 2000, which led to the introduction of the SEA, I know the significance of this day to all involved. I know that these brave, bright, beautiful young children of our nation have dedicated the past year to studying for this exam, demonstrating a level of sacrifice, commitment, diligence, and discipline far beyond their years.’

She added: ‘To the beautiful children writing the SEA exams, I want you to trust that your hard work and discipline will ultimately pay off. I congratulate you on reaching this far, and I am very proud of every one of you. I know that you will all do your absolute best in the exams, and that is and will always be more than enough.

‘If ever you are in doubt, always remember that you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you know.’

She urged all parents to ‘remember that whatever secondary school your child is placed in, he or she will continue to excel once you give them the continued support and love they need in their crucial teenage years’.

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