CMC – The former chief education officer, and prominent educator, Dr Olato Sam has been shot and killed, the Ministry of Education has confirmed.
“It is with deep sadness that the Education Family learned of the death of Dr Olato Sam who up to the time of his passing served as Education Specialist within the Ministry of Education.
He also served as Chief Education Officer from 2011 to 2016.
“The Honourable Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand and the staff of the Ministry of Education extend sincerest condolences to Dr Sam’s wife, family, friends, colleagues and the entire education fraternity,” the ministry said in a statement.
“He was working on several things but particularly a holistic national plan for addressing violence in schools is what he was finalising to present again to me,” Minister of Education Priya Manickchand said in a statement posted on her Facebook page.
Police have so far not yet issued any statement regarding the death of Dr Sam, however, media reports on Friday said that he was struck by a stray bullet at the Plaisance Railway Embankment (Line Top), East Coast Demerara (ECD).
“An eyewitness told reporters that Sam and a group of friends were hanging out at the Line Top area when a fight started across the road from where the group was.
The eyewitness, who is a friend of Sam but wished to remain anonymous, said two gunshots were fired and the group decided to leave the area.
But they saw Sam on the ground, nursing a gunshot wound to his chest’ according to one media report.
He was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
In its statement, the Ministry of Education said that Dr Sam also lectured at the University of Guyana in the Masters in Education and Bachelors in Education programmes.
He has served as chairman of the Guyana School of Agriculture; Commissioner on the Teaching Service Commission, Guyana; a member of the Caribbean Examinations Council’s Final Awards Committee; Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Cyril Potter College of Education; member of the CARICOM Taskforce on Teacher Education and Training and as a member of the CARICOM Task Force on the Establishment of Teaching Councils.
The ministry said that during his years in the sector, Dr Sam demonstrated success in programme management while keeping abreast of educational innovations.
He was a superb team player and motivator who used a developmental approach to enhancing educational outcomes.
It said he also provided leadership to the professional arm of the Ministry and devised education policies in collaboration with the Minister of Education, Education Officers and other stakeholders.
“He offered technical advice for the efficient implementation of educational policy at all learning institutions covered by the Ministry of Education and represented the Ministry’s interests in several regional and global fora,” the ministry added.
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