A teenager who lost his home and then his father, who drowned two years ago, is now fearful he will lose his chance at a successful life because his mother cannot afford to send him to the secondary school he passed for.
While thousands of children head out for school today, the teenager, who passed for Moruga Composite in this year’s Secondary Examination Assessment (SEA), will be at his Lengua home wishing he could have attended.
During an interview yesterday, his mother Nadia Singh said she has been begging for a transfer for him to attend one of two schools closer to their home. She said it would cost her $50 a day to send her son to Moruga Composite and this was not possible.
“I simply cannot afford it and while he wants to go to school and he is a bright student he will have to stay home,” Singh said with tears in her eyes while her son hugged her.
She added that since her husband Kimchan Singh, 42, drowned at Moruga Beach on January 29, 2016, life has been difficult.
“Taking care of these children is very hard. I never believed this could have happened to us. We were a happy family and then one day we lost everything,” Singh said.
She explained that in the years before her husband’s death a broken water line had caused their sprawling concrete mansion to cave in. When the T&T Guardian visited yesterday, the remains of their once happy home stood lopsided in a precipice in front of the one-room plyboard house in which the family now lives.
Singh said she attends church and begs God to help her. She said several people have been assisting them and for this she was grateful. However, she called on the Ministry of Education to help her get a transfer for her son.
“I don’t want my child to get wayward. He needs to go to school. Education is the key to having a better life. I want my children to have a better life,” Singh said.
She added that her other children, eight, 10 and 15, are all set for school thanks to the help from citizens.
“A Good Samaritan bought all their books and I cut back on groceries and bought their uniforms. If my son gets through with a transfer, … either one, I will have to see how we can raise money for his uniform and books,” she said.
Her home was immaculately clean and two beds stood in one room where they sleep.
Asked what she needed to make their lives better, Singh responded, “The house is very small and if we could have one more room, it would make us all more comfortable.”
Since August, Naparima MP Rodney Charles has written to the Minister of Education Anthony Garcia asking him to intervene on Darian’s behalf. Attempts made to contact Garcia for comment yesterday were unsuccessful as he did not answer his cellphone.
Anyone wanting to assist the family can contact Singh at 329 5265.
Editor’s note: The T&T Guardian is withholding the name of the teenager involved to prevent him from becoming a victim of possible stigmatisation and bullying when he eventually goes out to school.