In a review of the 2017 National Grade Six Assessment results on Monday, the Working People’s Alliance has dubbed President’s David Granger’s recent reassignment of former Education Minister and WPA Co-Leader Dr. Rupert Roopnarine as “premature.”
At a press conference at Rodney House, the WPA also griped over what it said is the “contraction of power” to a few parties within the six party APNU+AFC Coalition Government and said it looked forward to working with the President to change this.
Recently appointed WPA Chairperson, Tabitha Sarabo-Halley, linked the improved NGSA results and the removal of Dr. Roopnarine.
“If performance is measured by tangible outcomes, Dr. Roopnarine clearly did not perform too badly,” she said.
She said the government by extension and the President must be commended for the commitment in improving the standard of education.
Simultaneously, Sarabo-Halley also placed on record the WPA’s deep appreciation for the efforts undertaken by Dr. Roopnarine to arrest the crisis in the education system which was plagued by poor performance in mathematics over the years.
She said among other things, Dr. Roopnarine was able to bring much order to the very corrupted school placement system by streamlining the process.
“These improved results seem to suggest that the President may have acted prematurely in removing him from that Ministry. Perhaps some public acknowledgement of an error in judgement would go a long way towards repairing what borders on a questioning of Dr. Roopnarine’s competence,” she added.
Sarabo-Halley was joined by WPA Executive, Dr. David Hinds who was quick to point out that he party was not calling for the Minister’s reappointment.
Dr. Hinds said when the work of Dr. Roopnarine is assessment within the short period that he held the post and attempted to bring order to the education system that was on a downward slope for many years, an injustice seems to have been done.
“The President should acknowledge that Dr. Roopnarine performed credibly and the recent results bear this out… unfortunately he will not be to continue the work he started,” he said.
Meanwhile, the WPA said Dr. Roopnarine is yet to begin working within his new post at the Department of Public Service.
And the party also said it looks forward to its meeting later this month with President Granger and other APNU coalition partners slated for July 22nd.
During that meeting the party intends to address what it said is the contraction of power to a few in the coalition.
Dr. Hinds said while there is no intension by the WPA to leave the coalition, it looks forward to more engagement and an opportunity to reset the relationship through consultation.
“We feel the WPA has been a victim of this nonsense of big party and small party. The time you form a coalition we all become equal,” Hinds added.
He warned that it takes only a single Parliamentarian from the governing side to vote against the government.
“It could be the WPA, one from the AFC or one from the PNC. Just one to stop this government so when you get into a coalition you become equal.”
Hinds said there is a notion that the WPA did not have much supporters voting for the coalition at the last elections.
“Its true, the elections that we fought the WPA never got plenty votes but it takes alot to get those votes out to a poll. You have to write a manifesto and we know to do that good and we contribute tremendously to the writing of the manifesto for the APNU+AFC,” he added.
Hinds said the WPA gave optimism to the APNU base leading to a win at the 2015 elections.
The WPA said it will treat the “other side” as comrades who have good intentions although it disagrees with some of the tactics and philosophy.