A local businessman who came forward this week to fund an interpreter to sign lessons for a hearing-impaired student at St George Secondary School is pleading with authorities not to cut expenditure in critical areas.
Yesterday, businessman Peter Boos met with Nikita Chandler, a 17-year-old hearing-impaired student who has not been taught since the new school term began because of the absence of a dedicated interpreter at the institution to assist her after the Ministry of Education informed her mother Cheryl Chandler that it could no longer afford to fund the service.
He made a pledge to Nikita, her family and the school’s management that he would commit to paying an interpreter for the remainder of this school term and providing that he is satisfied with the outcome, he would continue for the remainder of the school year.
Boos, who signaled that he was also interested in Nikita’s future told Barbados TODAY this evening that he would use his connections and resources locally and abroad to assist her further.
“When I read the story, the feeling I had was this is not right. This is very unfortunate that if the country is going through a bad economic time, it is people who already have enough to deal with in life that we should protect in a way. We have to protect people who are the poorest and cannot help themselves essentially. This young lady has a hearing impairment why would we cut this service for her?”
Boos said that he was not looking at Nikita’s plight from a political point of view, but rather one which questioned “what we value in our communities and which show us that we have to work together as a country and as a community to find solutions”.
“I provided a solution for this one child but there will be a lot of others who are not being helped because we don’t know about them. It is very good of Barbados TODAY to publish this story [in its October 13 evening edition]. As a country we seem to have lost our sense of values and what we really care about. We spend money on fetes and all kind of things we do not need.
“We have to get our values straight and focus on what is important to us as a country. This is not what a Christian society is about.We are our brother’s keeper and at the end of the day we have to live that and not spout it on the pulpit,” he stressed.
Boos said he was nothing but impressed from the interaction he had with the student.
“I met her and she is such a bright, young lady and she was cheerful and full of smiles.”
Meanwhile, Nikita’s mother said her family was grateful to Boos for his kindheartedness.
“We want to thank him 100 per cent for coming forward and giving his assistance. We have been waiting long for this. Nikita is happy because she knows this is her final year at school, she wants to do CXCs and she is getting help. I haven’t seen her face light up since she went back to school. I know that she will not disappoint him.”
Interpreter Tony Husbands who was also present at the meeting, is expected to start class with Nikita on Monday.
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