Q&A: My Redbridge - Venda Premkumar
PUBLISHED: 17:00 30 November 2018
Venda Premkumar is a teacher and joint secretary of the Redbridge branch of the National Education Union
What is your connection to the borough?
I live and teach in the borough.
I am also a trade unionist in the National Education Union which involves supporting teaching colleagues in the borough.
What is the best thing about working or living in Redbridge?
I love how diverse Redbridge is.
There are so many different cultures and faiths living side-by-side, more or less harmoniously. The schools are generally very good and I think genuinely strive to provide a good education for our young people.
We are also fortunate to have a number of very committed local councillors, public servants and campaigners who work tirelessly behind the scenes to improve our daily lives.
What one thing would you change about the borough?
I would bring back more opportunities for people to socialise together, and provide the physical places to do so. For example, coffee mornings for the elderly, youth clubs for young people, and play groups for parents with young children, etc. When people socialise and create friendships, our communities are the better for it.
Use three words to describe the borough
Diverse, vibrant, underfunded.
Who is the most inspiring person you know?
I really admire Malcolm X - a formidable, outspoken and fearless activist. He loved and served his people with such intense passion, determination and had a certain amount of pragmatism too.
What new law would you introduce if you were prime minister?
I would abolish Universal Credit and outlaw the architects of such a cruel and punitive system.
If you were the editor of this paper, what issues in the borough would you focus on?
Being a teacher, I would have to foreground educational issues as the editor.
Presently, there are plans to academise some six seven or schools in the borough, which I think is a real shame. We have such brilliant state schools in the borough and it would be disappointing if we lost such a large number to academy trusts.
I believe every child deserves a good education, and therefore am greatly concerned that academisation will lead to the fragmentation of our education system. We should be proud of our community of Redbridge schools.