Four problem schools still closed
CAROLYN KISSOON email@example.com
The Education Facilities Company Limited (EFCL) is working
on improving conditions at four schools in South Trinidad,
which remain closed, three weeks after the new school term started.
Ministry of Education media coordinator, Yolanda Morales-Carvalho, said the problems outlined at the Pleasantville Secondary, Marabella South Secondary, Marabella Government Primary and Mafeking Primary schools were being addressed.
Morales-Carvalho advised parents to allow their children to attend classes at the Pleasantville Secondary school, as construction was almost completed.
"We understand that parents are keeping their children away. The teachers are reporting for duty. In the meantime, the EFCL is working on the existing problems," she said. However, parents complained yesterday that the building posed a health and safety concern for their children.
A parent said, "There is no basketball and tennis court, no area for drama, the dance room is often flooded, the pan room is small and congested and shares space with gym equipment, the art room is a dilapidated pre-fab building, the cricket nets are overgrown with bush, the tech-voc area is inadequate at best, and downright dangerous at worst, the home economics and tailoring department complain of improper plumbing and foul smells and the area surrounding the agri-science building is now being flooded by sewage."
Morales-Carvalho said work is ongoing at the Marabella South Secondary School to repair a faulty air condition system. The school was shutdown two days after school opened, as pupils complained of feeling unwell inside the classrooms.
And the EFCL was instructed to return to the Mafeking Government Primary School, where parents complained of a sewer problem. "The toilets were repaired during the vacation, as part of the ministry's school repair programme. But they are complaining of problems, so the EFCL returned to assess the problem," she said.
Parents burned tyres and blocked the Naparima/Mayaro Road yesterday, demanding that the ministry address their concerns. And the Marabella Government Primary School was expected to be sanitised yesterday, following complaints of a rat infestation. The school was shut down last week Friday.
(from the Multimedia Desk)