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Classes dismissed again at P/Town East

By Sue-Ann Wayow sue-ann.wayow@trinidadexpress.com

CLASSES were again dismissed early on Tuesday at the Princes Town East Secondary School one day after they resumed.

President of the school’s parent-teacher association Carlon Mohammed said the school should have been “in full swing”.

However, around 1 p.m., pupils began complaining of itching, runny eyes and breathing problems.

Seven pupils and eight teachers were affected, he said.

Some were taken to the Princes Town and Indian Walk District health facilities by ambulance. Others who complained were taken by their parents for treatment.

One pupil felt so sick that she had to be given oxygen and intravenous fluids, Mohammed said.

This the second time the Ministry of Education has announced the resumption of classes at the school, which were interrupted due to the complaints. 

For six weeks, although the school had not been officially closed, teachers and pupils stayed away from classes, citing the presence of mould.

Alicia Busby, the ministry’s communications officer, had said tests were conducted by Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (Cariri), and the results showed no presence of mould.

On Monday, Mohammed said a copy of the report was given to the school’s representative of the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA).

All went well at the school that day, he said. Yesterday, only nine out of over 30 teachers showed up for school. Mohammed said three pupils again fell ill, but were treated at the school.

He said more than 200 pupils out of the school’s population of 470 showed up for classes.

Lynsley Doodhai, second vice-president of TTUTA, said: “We cannot advise the teachers to go back to the school. They should not return to the school until it is verified what is causing the discomfort of teachers and students.” 

A ministry official yesterday said they had no reports of teachers complaining of itching. The official said 11 teachers showed up for classes yesterday and the school’s population of 470  was regular. 

The official said the principal would have spoken to the pupils concerning the Cariri report, and the ministry was unaware of any communication that may have transpired between TTUTA and the teachers.

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