Thursday, February 22, 2018

Shift system chaos: 'Pupils sit on floor'

Five-year-old pupils are being made to sit on the concrete floor until classrooms are available at the Princes Town No. 2 Presbyterian School.

The pupils enrolled at the Princes Town No. 1 Presbyterian School are on a shift system at the No. 2 school.

The Princes Town No. 1 school building was demolished almost three years ago.

Parents have been pleading with the Government to begin construction of the new school building.

Parent/Teacher Association (PTA) president Nola Karim said parents were not pleased that their young children have to sit on the floor at school.

She said parents are frustrated that the Education Ministry had not responded and intend to take action come Ash Wednesday.

Karim said parents have been waiting for far too long for answers.

She said pupils attending the afternoon session resort to sitting on the floor until the classrooms were available. And there was no shelter from the classrooms to the cafeteria leaving the children exposed to the elements.

Princes Town MP Barry Padarath has made several calls on Education Minister Anthony Garcia to explain why construction of the Princes Town Presbyterian No. 1 Primary School is not a priority of the Government.

Padarath attempted to raise the issue as a definite matter of urgent public importance in Parliament last Friday. But it was not allowed by House Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George.

Padarath said he found it necessary to raise the matter in Parliament after he was informed by Garcia two weeks ago that the issue was not a priority.

Garcia said the shift system being operated at the Princes Town Presbyterian No. 2 school was “working well”, he said.

Padarath said the problems were as a result of severe overcrowding and insufficient accommodation for the two school populations sharing once facility. He said the school operates from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Officials at the Education Ministry did not have an update on the school.