Joy for Khaleesi

Joy has come to the family of five-year-old Khaleesi Webb, whose future is now assured after Education Minister Anthony Garcia intervened and is guaranteeing a place for her when the new school term opens in September.

When Kerisha Crawford-Webb walked into the T&T Guardian’s South Bureau on Monday she was on the verge of tears and depressed, not sure what the future held for her special needs child. She claimed she felt discrimination was at play due to the child’s disability.

But that sorrow turned to joy yesterday morning, when shortly after reading about the he plight of the child, who suffers with Spina Bifida, an irate  Garcia called her to a meeting with him.


“I was pleasantly surprised at 7.30 this morning (Wednesday) to get a call to meet with the minister,” Crawford-Webb said from her Charlo Village, Penal home.

“I did not know where to turn on Monday after leaving the Farrah Street Ministry of Education office, San Fernando. God directed me to the Guardian office and I am so happy with what has happened since.”

Crawford-Webb said when she met with Garcia,  he told me her Penal/Quinam Government primary school, which is one road from where they live, was recently built and had facilities for special needs children.

“He has arranged for me to meet with the principal and infant teachers of the school tomorrow (today). Once it is accessible to Khaleesi and we like it, then she will attend there in September. If we don’t, then we will revisit Dayanand Vedic, which is my first choice,” Crawford-Webb said.

The relieved mother said Garcia also told her he contacted the three schools which rejected her daughter, Dayanand Vedic, Tulsa Trace Hindu and St Brigid’s RC, and they informed him the reason she was not accepted was because all their places had been taken. (See editorial on Page A22)

“He said he is still investigating the reasons for rejecting her because he could not understand why they left her for last.”

Crawford-Webb also said she got a call yesterday from Equal Opportunities Commission, where she had reported the matter, telling her their investigation proved the schools had no good reasons for not accepting Khaleesi and they would be proceeding with some kind of action.

“I am not sure what this action would entail as I have to meet with them next Wednesday,” she said. 

In a release on the issue yesterday, the Education Ministry confirmed that Garcia had identified the Penal/Quinam Government Primary School as the institution where Khaleesi could attend.

In said Garcia was assured by the School Supervisor II for the St Patrick Education District that everything would be put in place to ensure the comfort of the student.

It said the parent, together with the line supervisor (School Supervisor I), will visit the school today to get a first-hand view of the premises.

Source: Guardian