Parents call for removal of dorm mother at Corriverton facility
Citing several concerns regarding her conduct, residents of two Amerindian communities, Orealla and Siparuta, are calling for the removal of the mother of the dormitory at the Corriverton facility.
Orealla is situated 50 miles up the Corentyne River and its sister village Siparuta is a further 10 miles up.
There is no secondary school in the communities and as such, after writing the National Grade Assessment, those children are awarded secondary schools along the Corentyne coast, which would require them to live at the Corriverton dormitory.
The facility is being managed by Ann Dick but after numerous complaints about her being ineffective in running the facility, parents are calling for her removal. Orealla/Siparuta Councillor with responsibility for education, Angela Devair explained that the issue lies with both the male and female dormitories.
Guyana Times was told that the dorm mother’s husband would sometimes enter the rooms of the female students, making them uncomfortable.
“And then the problems got worse, whereby children were victimised and we interviewed a few of those students and at that time about two years ago it had more to do with the females where these children had to leave their doors open and instead of the dorm mother being the one to check on them at nights, sometimes they say it was the husband doing it.”
She said the students’ conversations are being recorded. Devair also claimed that the students were not receiving proper meals and were not being properly supervised in using the internet service during study time.
“Sometimes the dorm father did not even have the password to use the internet and that was an issue and several issues we have had back then two years ago. All of the females left the dormitory and they had to find accommodation with relatives and different persons in Corriverton.”
When contacted, Dick confirmed that there are currently 14 students staying at the facility. Meanwhile, since 2022, three dorm fathers have resigned, saying that they cannot function under the current conditions. Currently, there is no father at the facility.
Thesius Henry served in that capacity from January to September this year. He said in January, students were having very poor grades, with some only being able to attain 17 per cent of total marks and none of the boys being able to attain 50 per cent.
According to Henry, he was forced to report the actions of the dorm mother’s husband to the Orealla Village Council and the Regional Executive Officer subsequently asked the dorm mother not to have her husband there. This, Henry said, created animosity against him.
“I resigned for many reasons. One is that as a former teacher, father, and who wants to raise the academic standards and performance of the children, I realised that I could not do it at the dorms because the dorm mother was not cooperating with me to raise the standards and get better results.”
He said the performances of the children were so poor when he arrived at the facility that some of them could only attain an overall percentage of 17.
“None of the boys reached fifty per cent; that was bad. I saw that as a problem so I tried to tackle the problem. However, the dorm mother had her husband there and he was telling me how I should do my job.
Nevertheless, Dick denied the allegations that students do not have the freedom to speak with their parents in privacy on the telephone. However, she admitted that she was asked not to have her husband at the facility for children.
“Most of the girls’ percentage is above 20 but one and two of them are below,” Dick said when asked about the performances of the students at the dormitory but explained that she could not speak for the boys at the facility.
The dorm mother dismissed the claims being made by the residents and insisted that she was running the dormitory according to standards.
Meanwhile, she admitted that she was instructed not to have her husband at the facility, noting that the decision was taken after residents of the two Amerindian communities of Orealla and Siparuta did not want him here. “He still comes around like if I cook, he would come for his food,” she told this publication.
Dick said when her husband used to be sleeping at the facility he did not go into the girls’ private rooms.
“That is not true, I do my work,” she added.
Meanwhile, during a visit to the community earlier this year, President Dr Irfaan Ali announced that a secondary school will soon be built in Orealla. (Andrew Carmichael)