President of the Arima Central Secondary School Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Samuel Strann has said their executive met and they are asking parents to keep their children away from school today.
They are also issuing a special appeal to parents to keep First, Second and Third Formers away from school due to overcrowding. Arima Central Secondary School is located at the corner of Marie and Roberts Streets, Arima, its principal is Bernice Davis and the vice principal Caroline Narine. The school accommodates about 607 students but the capacity is 525.
Yesterday about 12 parents/volunteers were busy cleaning up damaged wood which has been infested with termites.
Via a telephone interview yesterday, Strann said: “We are asking parents to keep their children away because the conditions are not fit...especially Form Ones, Twos and Threes. There is no definite decision to keep the children away. We can’t stop parents who want to send their children to school.”
Strann added: “We are saying to parents we cannot have children under those conditions. It is impossible for Forms Ones and Twos to be seated in those classrooms. The clothing and textiles, food and nutrition and the electrical lab are heavily termite ridden. It is not fit to house students. Those rooms need urgent attention.”
Strann said the PTA is appealing to Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh to engage in more dialogue with them. They are also pleading for the neighbouring Arima New Government School compound to be given to the PTA.
Strann added: “We are asking Dr Gopeesingh to visit the school. We want to engage in dialogue with him. We believe we could use the concrete area at Arima New Government Old Compound to house Form Five and Six students. Parents are prepared to spend whatever money is needed to get it ready.”
When contacted Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh said: “That building (Arima New Government Old Compound) is unfit for occupation. It will be demolished and a new building will be constructed.”