(GUYANA NEWS ROOM) – An 11-year-old pupil of the Strathspey Primary School, East Coast Demerara, succumbed on Monday, hours after a ‘playful’ incident at the school resulted in his head slamming into a gate.
Dead is Mark Harrypaul called ‘Joel’ of Vigilance North, ECD.
The News Room understands that the incident occurred at around 15:00 hrs in the school’s compound and involved a 14-year-old student from the Buxton Secondary School.
In an interview with the News on Wednesday, the child’s father, Roy Harrypaul explained that his wife received a call from the headmistress who informed her that Mark was involved in an accident.
“He (Mark) had an incident with a child from Buxton Secondary who snatched his rag and run off. At one time, he get it back and the second time he [the older student] snatched it again. So when my son approach he, he pull the school gate and slam it to his head and there he get a one inch scar to his head,” Roy told the News Room.
Mark was sent home following the incident; he told his family what happened and complained about having a headache.
“The teacher say is not nothing serious but what I get to understand is when the gate knock my child, they say he get black out [fainted] there but them ain’t inform we of that. Other children inform we.
“The same child that did the incident carry he up to the [headmistress] and he apologise and things like that,” Roy related.
After Mark complained of a headache, he was given Panadol and then retired to bed.
“When he come home, he drink a Panadol and he go to rest. I wasn’t home…The mother…after he get the knock, she seh she go mek some soup for he.
“When I come home and go check, I see is a small thing. He lay down. He was sleeping. He was catching his rest but we didn’t know my child was dying easy, easy going,” the distraught father said.
But later that evening, things took a turn for the worse; Mark started to groan in pain and he was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
“He was just making a funny noise like and he hand and foot start moving different…When I bring my child to the hospital, my child is dead…they try to resuscitate him but he didn’t make it,” Roy said as he fought to hold back tears.
A post-mortem examination performed on Wednesday revealed that Mark died as a result of a fractured skull.
The News Room understands that the Ministry of Education is aware of the incident and an investigation has been launched. According to Roy, officials from the ministry visited his home on Tuesday.
“Them seh them investigating. Them looking into the matter,” he said. The ministry has not released an official statement on the incident.
“I need justice….I lost my child. I can’t let this to go down because I mind my child from a baby to 11-years- old. It’s not an easy road for me and my wife to walk. What we are going through right now, I know people can’t feel the feelings what I am feeling,” he said.
Mark was preparing to sit the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) in 2024.
“I never lost a child before…The kid means a lot to me. He had big, big dreams…My child ain’t live after 24 hours. My child ain’t even live five to six hours more,” the father wept.