Gadsby-Dolly, Moonilal praise new Ramai Trace Hindu School

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

The updated Ramai Trace Hindu school in Debe. – Photo by Lincoln Holder

EDUCATION Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly and Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal put partisan politics aside on Monday as they collectively praised the commissioning of the new $24 million Ramai Trace Hindu Primary School in Debe.

Gadsby-Dolly and Moonilal are deputy political leaders of the PNM and UNC respectively.

In their respective speeches at the commissioning, each congratulated the other for helping to commission the school. They described it as an event that was “a long time coming.”

Victoria education district school supervisor Edwin Kenny briefed the gathering about how the old primary school was closed in September 2014 and eventually demolished due a plethora of infrastructural problems.

In the eight years that followed, students from the school were briefly accommodated at a primary school in Monkey Town in Barrackpore and late at a mandir at Penal Rock Road.

Gadsby-Dolly praised Moonilal for his tireless advocacy for the reopening of the school.

She said this was reflective of what a true parliamentary representative does in seeking the interests of his or her constituents.

Gadsby-Dolly believed that the new school was reflective of the ministry’s 2023-2027 transformative plan to help create ideal citizens.

While academic excellence remains important, Gadsby-Dolly lamented that over the years, schools have not focused enough on helping students to develop the right attitudes and values to help them become better citizens.

“We have been reaping the benefits of that, if you want to call it benefits.”

She said the culture of many young people needs to change. She remembered in previous years, children were polite and courteous when they greeted older people in public.

“In many cases, those times have passed.”

Gadsby-Dolly said this culture shift has caused other negative values to set in over time.

“So we need now to take a new focus on the type of citizen that we are developing.”

Nation building, she continued, “cannot be done just by writing policies on a piece of paper.”

Gadsby-Dolly said this happens through hard work at all levels and in all sectors of a country.

Moonilal said, “We are extremely happy and grateful.”

He paid tribute to former students, parents and teachers at the school who kept the issue on the front burner.

Moonilal said since the school’s closure there was always some kind of protest activity as part of efforts to push for a new school.

He reminded his audience that one of those protests involved delivering a letter from parents and teachers to Gadsby-Dolly’s immediate predecessor Anthony Garcia.

Moonilal thanked Gadsby-Dolly for being “accessible and affable” in listening to the cries of his constituents for a new school.

He joked that he may now have to remove parliamentary questions he filed for her to answer in the House of Representatives about the school’s reopening.

Moonilal appealed to the business community and civil society groups to give the school any additional assistance it needs,

While saying he would continue to make representations to government when it becomes necessary, Moonilal said government was not always in a position to respond as quickly as some people might want it to.