Schoonord Learning Centre for Diverse Needs gifted school bus

Government is making effort to reduce transportation costs for parents and provide a comfortable travelling environment for students amid the pandemic.

Students of the Schoonord Learning Centre for Diverse Needs in Region Three are elated after they received a school bus equipped with lifts, seatbelts and advanced security mechanisms.

Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall, M.P

On Friday, Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall, M.P, handed over the vehicle at the Region Three  Department of Education.

Speaking with DPI, Ms. Tracy Pariaug, a parent, commended government for providing this kind of relief to the parents.

Tracy Pariaug, parent

She said travelling with children who have special needs can be quite challenging and costly for parents and guardians.  Pariaug believes the donation is a demonstration of the government’s commitment to improving the lives of its people.

“Most of the parents here would benefit from it because public transportation with a special needs child is a very challenging process, even with Covid so, with this bus, it will make our lives much easier now,” she said.

Ramanie Balwant, parent

Another parent, Ms. Ramanie Balwant related that, “ [I am] so happy to soon benefit from this bus because it is very challenging to travel to take them [children] in a public vehicle and it can be inconvenient.”

Acting headteacher of the institution, Ms.Latoya Boston said students’ attendance began to dwindle significantly after schools reopened to face- to -face learning.

She expressed gratitude to the government for the timely donation.

Acting headteacher, Schoonord Learning Centre for Diverse Needs, Latoya Boston

During the handing over ceremony, Minister Dharamlall underscored the importance of providing  such amenities in the education sector.

He believes the gesture will boost the student’s attendance and is in keeping with government’s commitment to ensure education services are easily accessible to every child, regardless of location.

“Education is paramount and the agenda of our government is very important. We believe that despite all of the physical things that are happening in the country, health and education are probably even more critical because we would like to have a healthy population and more importantly, we will also have an educated population,” the Minister said.

Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall, M.P, Regional Executive Officer, Jagnarine Somwar (right) handing over the keys to officials of the Department of Education

He told officials that the vehicle should be used solely for transporting the students. Minister Dharamlall also noted that parents are expected to play a role in managing the vehicle to ensure that their children travel to and from school safely.

“We will continue to work with you, continue to provide as many opportunities as possible for especially children and they should not be treated any differently from any other child in the country,” he noted.

A section of the students of the Schoonord Learning Centre for Diverse Needs

Regional Executive Officer Jagnarine Somwar, Regional Education Officer, Akbar Chindu and other officials were also present at the event.

Commissioned in 2019, this special needs school aims to serve children with learning and attention disabilities, among others.

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