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The Plight of Villagers and Students of Machakil Ha

May 12
13:03 2019


Two of five children from Machakil Ha Primary School who sat Part II of the Primary School Exams, did not have to get up in the dark of night to trek to the nearest village to take them closer to their exam centre. That’s because the Ministry of Education provided transport for them to reach their destination a day in advance, in order to give them time to prepare and condition their minds for the test.

But while the assistance was offered to all five children, three of them turned it down in order to document their plight on television. The students’ teacher, Arnaldo Putul told the Reporter on Tuesday, that they felt it important for the world to know the hardships they will endure when its time to attend high school.

Minister of Education Patrick Faber said transport could have been arranged for the first part of the exams, had the school’s administration advised his department early. But Faber’s comments were not welcomed by villagers.

Putul told Reporter. “Parents are not happy with the Deputy Prime Minister’s response and are still waiting to hear from other ministers like [the] Prime Minister, Minister of Works, Minister of Health” regarding the basic road access and health care that the village lacks, in addition to electricity and an adequate water system. The Minister’s response breaks many hearts of our parents, especially those who have children attending high school already,” the standard six teacher lamented.

In his comments to the media on the issue last week, Faber says the people of Machakil Ha are living like many people in remote areas of the world live and it is not a trek that the children have to take outside the village, since they have a primary school in the village.

Machakil Ha sits some five miles away from the Southern border with Guatemala. It is geographically isolated from other villages and its residents, who number just over 100, rely on agriculture as their means of income. They have been clamouring for an access road, open to vehicular traffic, to their village so that they do not have to walk the over five miles out, when they need to leave or re-enter the village.

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