March 5, 2024



Teacher of class destroyed by fire at AWPS spent many weeks transforming classroom for new school term

—- Said she is happy no lives were lost

Grade Six Parika before and after it was destroyed by fire

Teacher Shauna Cumberbatch- Corlette, of Grade Six Parika at the Amelia’s Ward Primary School (AWPS), with the help of parents, spent weeks transforming her classroom into the perfect child friendly and conducive space for the new school term. She invested a lot of resources into her ‘Bumble Bee’ themed décor with well-prepared visual aids. She also had a wall to wall carpet installed on the floor to give her children the extra comfort. It all went up in flames yesterday around 13:30 hrs, when a sudden fire erupted in the classroom. An investigation carried out by the Guyana Fire Service, deemed the fire electrical in nature.

Despite being hurt by what transpired, the significant material losses for her and her students, Miss Cumberbatch-Corlette, is thankful that no lives were lost. “Well I was really moved, I was shocked, all in all, I wanna thank God no one was hurt and I didn’t lose any lives. I can get back materially what was lost, I was shaken yes but I know God got my back and I know I will get better. Emotionally she said she is stable but she knows her children are in need of counselling as they were traumatized. “With God all things are possible and I will gain strength from him, this morning I prayed for my children and I am hoping something can be done for them.”

The teacher related that her children lost a lot of their belongings as well, bags and shoes for thousands of dollars. There are calls for them to be compensated by the Ministry of Education.

For now the school is closed until further notice.

Since it is a Grade Six class, the teacher is calling for a swift solution so that the children can return to school as early as possible to avoid learning loss.

Region ten’s Fire Commander, Courtney Springer, has advised that the school’s building be inspected and certified by a licensed electrician to ensure it meets the safety requirements before teachers and students return to classrooms. The school is over 40 years old.