Teachers of Queen’s College, located at Camp Road and Thomas Lands, Georgetown, have complained about the lack of textbooks for their students, which has resulted in several inconveniences and delayed lessons.Fed up with the situation, one teacher reached out to Guyana Times on Wednesday, indicating that they are without adequate teaching materials to complete a day’s work. While textbooks are available for teachers, students were told to purchase their own. As customary, textbooks for compulsory subjects, such as mathematics, are provided. They are now left to wait until everyone has acquired the relevant textbooks.Queen’s College“We have to tell students to purchase their own textbooks. In the third form class, you have them doing over 16 subjects. This past week, most of them would have bought some of the books but what about the other subjects? Will the other teachers have to wait?” the teacher questioned.Meanwhile, it was also mentioned that some students are finding it difficult to garner all of the necessary books, owing to their families’ financial obligations.“Our children are coming from all over. We have some staying in the dorms because they’re living far from Georgetown. Some of them simply cannot buy all of these books. It’s very expensive. I don’t know what we’re going to do until all of them get all of these books. This is always a problem at the school. You have other senior schools being supplied and we’re left to fend for ourselves. We didn’t distribute textbooks to almost all of our senior class,” the teacher lamented.This newspaper was unable to reach the school’s principal for a comment on the shortage.Queens College is placed amongst the top five schools and has produced commendable results at both the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE).The Education Ministry was asked to look into the matter and hopefully ensure that they are rectified, this newspaper was told.Earlier this year, a report from the Auditor General had flagged the Education Ministry for not complying “in all material respects” with the relevant Acts, regulations and policies regarding the procurement of textbooks in 2016.The findings highlighted, “Internal controls were weak and not functioning in some instances. Moreover, pertinent records were not properly maintained. Whilst relevant records were also not located and submitted for audit scrutiny. In addition, the manner and environment in which textbooks were stored presented a health and safety hazard”.The report noted that in the year 2016, some $506 million was budgeted for the Education Ministry to procure textbooks for nursery, primary and secondary schools. It went on to note that $35.064 million was paid in excess of the Ministry’s approved allocation under Line Item 6224 for the nursery and primary levels.“This represented a misallocation of expenditure, which is a breach of the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act 2003… The Ministry entered into contracts exceeding its approval allocation by $36.534 million. This is also a breach of the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act 2003, which prohibits agencies from entering into contract that exceeds its approval allotment for any given period,” the AG report had stated.
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