PARENTS of pupils of an early childhood education centre in Penal kept their children away from school last week after a robbery on the compound.
Forty-eight children of the Penal Presbyterian Early Childhood Care and Education Centre stay away while parents clamour for a security presence at the 16-year-old school.
At around 3 p.m. last Friday, three school officials were on the compound when a man walked in and announced a hold-up.
A source at the school who wished to remain anonymous said: “He kept his hands in his pockets and asked them to take off their jewelry. He also took their cash.”
The source said persons on the street observed the robbery in progress and raised an alarm.
The thief ran off with the loot into a waiting vehicle, the Express was told.
The source said on Tuesday, at around 7.30 a.m a prowler was seen on the compound, and minutes later he was seen in a classroom searching through a teacher’s handbag.
He was caught by police.
The Express was told that letters have been sent to the school’s board, as well as the Ministry of Education appealing for a security officer to be stationed at the school. Parents yesterday held a meeting with school officials about the security issues.
When the Express contacted media coordinator at the Ministry of Education Yolanda Morales-Carvalho by e-mail, she responded, “We are investigating the report submitted by the administrator of this particular ECCE. We are looking into the matter. However, the security of this ECCE centre is the responsibility of the Presbyterian Education Board.”
The Express contacted general secretary of the Presbyterian Primary Schools Board, Felix Rampersad, who said the Board was not aware of the issues at the school. Rampersad said the situation would be looked into on Monday.