Giving back to the community through education
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Mariel Joseph (Carl Croker photos)
Mariel Joseph (Carl Croker photos)

MARIEL Joseph, better known as ‘Sir Joseph’ has a unique way of giving back to his community by providing extra lessons at central Mahaicony, East Coast Demerara, having exited the formal school system as a teacher after 32 years.

Presently, he isn’t attached to any school, but two days per week, he would commute to central Mahaicony to have extra lessons on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

He specialises in Mathematics for both primary and secondary school pupils and students, but he would prepare them for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations.

Sir Joseph is well-known and is a household name since his reputation is outstanding, having produced many top performers and have been holding extra lessons for the past 12 years.

“Working with secondary school students is a real joy and I would do everything to ensure [that] they are moulded correctly,” he said.

He spent his teaching career at Calcutta Primary School and at Belladrum Primary and also taught at schools in Region Six.

Home of Mariel Joseph

“I observed a long time ago that children need that extra help in the primary level which serves as the foundation since they did not grasp the teaching concepts in Maths well, so that’s how the extra lessons started, I wanted to help,” he said.

Sir Joseph stated that when you start extra lessons for primary-level pupils it is good, because when they reach secondary school they have a solid foundation to lean on in Maths and they tend to do well.

He added that 12 years ago, he decided to host extra lessons in Maths. It has been a rewarding journey because the rewards are tremendous, seeing the children excel in the subject area is something to talk about.

But his real joy comes when his pupils and students excel in exams and move on to higher learning or seek jobs.

Long before hosting extra lessons Sir Joseph has been involved in community work, volunteering in cultural aspects, doing shows and concerts whilst teaching in schools.

In primary schools, he became a coach in athletic sports mentoring pupils in track and field and it was very fulfilling.

On another note, he told the Pepperpot Magazine that living in the Burma Housing Scheme, the last village on that end has its advantages and disadvantages.

He stated that the advantages are, less distraction, he gets to do yard work and have a kitchen garden and finds it quite relaxing and peaceful.

While, on the other hand, the disadvantages include the road, which many other residents have highlighted.

Sir Joseph related that despite the issues, it is a good community to reside and he has been there as a young boy since 1974.

The father of one reported that life is fair there because most people have cattle and livestock and they depend on that for their living.

There are a handful of cash-crop farmers and some people work with the rice producers, the rice mill and the GRDB Research Centre.

Sir Joseph stated that there are three streets in the village and two small shops.

He lost his kitchen garden when the flood came and was trying to prepare the land for farming again.

Sir Joseph is a true son of the soil type of man and he is well-respected in the village and its environs.

The shop owner
Tamika Wilson is a resident of Last Street, Burma Housing Scheme and is a shop owner.

Tamika Wilson

She told the Pepperpot Magazine that she has been there for 23 years and at first the place was dismal, but more people moved in and she has got accustomed to the quietness of the place.

The mother of six related that she is originally from Belladrum Village, West Coast Berbice and so far life is good.

Home of Tamika Wilson

The 43-year-old added that she has a car which she uses to get in and out the village but not everyone has a car and it is difficult to traverse due to the condition of the road, and the hire car prices are not cheap.

“As long as you have transportation you can go anywhere but others are having a hard time getting in and out so something should be done to upgrade the access road,” she said.

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